London-based lending firm Lendable has announced a £210m funding injection today that pushes its valuation north of £3.5bn, as it looks to accelerate a push into new markets.

Lendable, founded in the capital in 2014, aims to smooth out the consumer lending process by connecting institutional investors with borrowers via AI and automation.

The new funding round, led by the Ontario Teachers’ pension plan via its Teachers Innovation Platform (TIP), boosts the fintech firm’s valuation from over £1bn last year at its last capital raise.

Founder and CEO of Lendable Martin Kissinger said the backing from TIP would underpin a growth push.

“We are excited to partner with TIP as we accelerate our expansion across products and markets, he said.

“Our DNA from day one has been to bring transparency and fairness to consumer finance, and we are proud of the fantastic feedback we consistently receive from our customers,” he said.

Kissinger said that TIP’s cale and long-term view n support our ambition to make this giant market work better.”

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The move from Ontario pensions plan comes as it ramps up its push into private capital investment funding via a new innovation platform, launched three years ago to focus on on late-stage venture and growth equity investments.

Olivia Steedman, senior managing director at TIP said Lendable was changing the way that consumers access loans.

“Lendable’s seamless, quick and easy to use products, powered by advanced AI, are shaping the future of consumer finance,” she said.

“We’re delighted to work with Martin and his visionary team to deliver on Lendable’s growth ambitions.”

The pension fund has been eyeing up an expansion in Europe after hiring Avid Larizadeh Duggan as a managing director last year to build its presence.

UK pension funds have traditionally been locked out of such growth investments due to a charge cap on fees, which prevent pension money flowing into fast growth tech firms via venture capital and private equity which typically have management fees that exceed the cap.

Tech leaders have been pushing for a shakeup in rules that would allow more pension cash to flow into British tech.

Ron Kalifa, who masterminded a review of the fintech sector last year, called on pension funds to fill a dearth of growth capital that was holding back British firms from reaching their potential.

“There is around £6tn in the UK pension scheme alone. A small portion of that could be diverted to high growth tech opportunities which would create jobs, help with levelling up and drive international trade,” he told City A.M in January.

Government has been consulting on lifting the cap, with a decision set to be announced later this year.

Source: City A.M.

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