Alternative small business lending firm Funding Circle has announced plans to launch in Canada.
The company issued a press release Thursday (March 7) announcing it will add Canada to the list of jurisdictions in which it operates, which currently include the U.S., U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. While its exact Canada launch date is unknown, the company said it will commence operations in the country in the second half of this year through the opening of an office in Toronto.
Funding Circle’s U.K. commercial strategy lead, Tom Eilon, will head the company’s Canada unit as managing director, the firm said.
“We have been evaluating options for expansion over the last year. Canada’s stable, growing economy coupled with good access to credit data and progressive regulatory environment made it the obvious choice,” said Eilon in a statement as part of the announcement.
“The most important factor, though, was the clear need for additional funding options among Canadian SMEs,” he continued. “We are looking forward to officially launching later this year and supporting Canadian SMEs to access the finance they need to grow, create new jobs and fuel their local economies.”
In its announcement, Funding Circle highlighted data released by the Canadian government that found small and medium-sized businesses employ an estimated 90 percent of the nation’s private sector workforce. The company also pointed out that despite Canada’s ongoing recovery since the 2008 financial crisis, lending to small businesses has not recovered as quickly.
In another statement, Toronto Finance International President and CEO Jennifer Reynolds said the company’s launch in Canada “is a fantastic addition to the thriving FinTech sector in Toronto, and a welcome added option for small business to access finance.”
Funding Circle’s Canada launch will follow its announcement earlier this month that it reached the $2 billion small business loan threshold in the U.S. market.