Crowdfunding Helped Create 2,400 Irish Jobs

05 Mar 2018 | 10.16 am

Crowdfunding Helped Create 2,400 Irish Jobs

More than 890 firms secured loans via Linked Finance since 2013

05 Mar 2018 | 10.16 am

Peer-to-peer lending site Linked Finance has helped create 2,400 new jobs since 2013 in the businesses that have raised money through its platform.

The figure comes from a recent survey carried out by Linked Finance among the businesses in question. Those that borrowed money through the P2P site grew their staff numbers by an average of 24%.

More than 70% of respondents to the survey said the funds they had raised through the platform had helped them to grow their teams, with 68% planning to hire more staff this year.

Some 892 firms have secured funding through Linked Finance, hiring an average of 2.7 employees post-funding. Linked Finance multiplied this approximate employee expansion figure by 892 to derive its 2,400 jobs created tally.

Other findings in the Linked Finance survey showed that access to credit (26%) was identified as the most challenging issue out of five on which the businesses were surveyed, followed by recruitment (24%), taxation and regulation (24%), and increasing costs (18%). Only 8% of the companies surveyed identified Brexit as the biggest challenge they were facing.

Niall Dorrian (pictured), CEO of Linked Finance, said that the contribution of SMEs to employment and job creation is often overlooked. “We’re proud that we have been able to help them access the capital needed for expansion,” he added.

Business sentiment among Irish SMEs looks to be strong, with Linked Finance’s survey showing that 81% of companies are positive or very positive about the outlook for their business in 2018.

Linked Finance also recorded a strong increase in demand across the first two months of 2018. The company has now provided more than 1,300 loans to Irish SMEs since its launch in 2013, comprising more than €46m in funding. Linked Finance’s lenders have earned more than €3.5 million in interest.

“The high level of business confidence we see in this survey is reflected in the demand we’re seeing for new lending on the platform,” Dorrian continued. “SMEs need a quick decision on a loan application and don’t have the resources to engage in the lengthy procedures, which are expected by some traditional lenders.

“This is why peer-to-peer lending is such an attractive option, with an easy online application process and same day credit decision on loans of up to €250,000.”

Companies that have been supported by Linked Finance loans include Viking Splash Tours, Lolly & Cooks, Murphy’s Ice Cream, Iconic Offices and the Irish Fairy Door Company.

Linked Finance raised €2m in a funding round led by the company’s original VC backers, Frontline Ventures, in October 2017. Operating company Linked P2P Limited booked a loss of €1.1m in the year to April 2017, bringing accumulated losses to €3.3m. The firm had a year-end net deficit of €2.7m.

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