Alternative Finances

Blackstone Backs UK Online Lender’s $171M Round

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Future Finance, an online lending startup specializing in student loans, secured £119 million ($170 million) in funding from investors, including QED Investors and Blackstone Strategic Opportunity Fund.

In a press release on Monday (March 14) the U.K. company confirmed nearly £100 million ($143 million) of its recently raised funding will be used for lending, boosting its existing credit facility with Goldman Sachs.

Brian Norton, Future Finance CEO, said: “We are excited about this significant investment from a world-class set of investors, which will enable many more students in the U.K. to access higher education and invest in their future careers. Our investors share our view that students with the motivation and the potential to succeed should not be denied a productive education. We are delighted to have the support of such experienced investors in high-growth FinTech companies like Future Finance, whose insights will be invaluable as we look to expand into new products and geographies.”

The company provides tailored loans to students who are facing a funding gap when paying for their higher education and are in need of additional financial support on top of that provided by government loans and bursaries. Future Finance said these type of loans are in high demand, reporting that it has received more than 37,000 applications since 2014 and has lent about £25 million ($36 million) out, with loan growth exceeding 900 percent year on year.

By factoring data, such as continuation, employability and earnings, into its loan decisions, the company said it is able to help students who may not have enough credit history to receive a loan from traditional financial institutions.

“Future Finance’s use of technology and data to democratize higher education is a huge win for students and society,” Nigel Morris, managing partner of QED Investors, explained. “We are very impressed with Brian and his team and see enormous potential for the business in what is still a nascent market for student finance in the U.K. We are delighted to support Brian and his team to take Future Finance to its next stage of growth.”

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