17th Mar, 2017

Prima Cleaners Looks to the Future

Prima Cleaners has a long history in the launderette business. They recently turned to rebuildingsociety.com to seek £53,000 in funds that they plan to use to expand and develop their company.

We spoke to Graeme Davies to find out more about Prima Cleaners, and asked him about the company’s history and future.

Thank you for talking to us today, Graeme. Tell us a bit about Prima Cleaners.

Prima Cleaners was founded 16 years ago, in the newly-earmarked business district of Liverpool. During the first two years, the store struggled, as there were not many commercial offices on the high street. (more…)


14th Mar, 2017

Xanadu Seeks Expansion Funding

Xanadu UK Retail Limited is seeking funding via rebuildingsociety.com for the acquisition of a market-leading wholesale lingerie business in the UK. The company is seeking £200,000 to purchase Blue Moon Lingerie Limited, a wholesale lingerie distributor that was founded in 2003.

We spoke to members of the Xanadu team to find out more about the company’s loan application and upcoming plans.

Tell us a bit about Xanadu and what it offers, both on a wholesale and retail level.

Xanadu has two primary business areas – retail and wholesale. Xanadu Boutique offers lingerie and accessories from well-known designers through both physical shops and online. Xanadu Trade, meanwhile, was established to offer high-quality lingerie, trade only, to traditional and online retailers. We cover various genres of products, including everyday wear, fashion, bridal and nightwear. (more…)


27th Feb, 2017

Full FCA Authorisation

rebuildingsociety.com has been awarded full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority in recognition of our compliance with sector-specific regulations.

We are very excited to share news of this major achievement and important milestone with our community. Authorisation means that we meet the rigorous standards set by the FCA and that we can soon start to offer the Innovative Finance ISA.

Although we have been operating under FCA rules on Interim Permission since April 2014, being granted full authorisation helps us to continue building on the important relationships of trust we have with all our clients. We are proud to have achieved this milestone ahead of many other platforms, which we believe is testament to our small but dynamic team, systems, processes and controls.

(more…)


26th Jan, 2017

How to Get Your Loan Approved and Funded

Navigating your way through a loan process can often prove to be challenging and may seem like a long road obfuscated by a fog of red-tape and administration.

At rebuildingsociety.com we have made our processes as simple and transparent as possible to help you navigate the path to a successful loan application. You can either refer to our handy flowchart or digest the information below.

Get your loan funded flowchart

Criteria

Do you meet our basic criteria?

  • We can help Limited Companies, LLPs, PLCs and social enterprises
  • We require at least two years trading and filed accounts. (If you are a recently incorporated Ltd Company with a trading history as a different entity such as a sole trader then you may still be eligible)
  • No outstanding CCJs of £250 against the business
  • The business must be profitable and VAT registered
  • Directors/Partners must be UK residents
  • Turnover greater than £150k (we will also consider businesses that are on course to meet this requirement in the current financial year)

If you meet this criteria, we would love to receive an application which you can complete online.

On average it takes less than 10 minutes to complete the application form and once we have all of the required information, we can get you a decision within 24 hours.

Documents Required

We require the following information to process your application:

  • 2 years filed accounts
  • Management accounts, including balance sheet and P+L covering the period ending no earlier than 60 days prior to the date of submission
  • Details of any existing borrowing, including providers, monthly repayments and amounts outstanding
  • Completed statements of Assets, Liabilities, Income and Expenditure for all directors
  • Business bank statement covering the most recent 3 months
  • Personal credit report for all directors

Underwriter’s Questions

Once we have received all of the required information, the application will go across to our underwriters for assessment. During the assessment process they may have some questions on the application or accounts which they will raise via the listing discussion forum.

You will receive an email notification when any questions are posted and in order to respond to these questions you simply log on and reply directly to the underwriter. Any pertinent topics will be left visible for our lenders once the loan goes live. Any information provided which is sensitive or not directly relevant for the lenders will be removed before listing.

Once your application is approved by the underwriters you will need to review and approve the listing before it goes live.

Reviewing the listing is your last chance to make any changes to the listing blurb before it goes live to be viewed by potential lenders. As the listing is the first thing potential lenders will see about your business, it is always beneficial to make sure that it is of sufficient detail to give a true and fair picture of your business, what you need the loan for and why lenders should invest.

We also have the capacity to upload any pictures, files or embedded videos that you would like lenders to see, so you may wish to send us any of the following for inclusion:

  • Business plan
  • Introductory video
  • Cash flow forecasts
  • Asset valuations / property valuations
  • Promotional pictures

Security Discount

Before your loan goes live you may wish to consider the security you have offered. Well secured loans attract lower final rates, fund faster and may also qualify for a discount on the starting rate of up to 5%.

You can find out more HERE or speak to one of the rebuildingsociety.com team:

Your Application is LIVE!

Once you have approved the listing, we will email you to let you know that the loan is now live on our site and attracting bids.

It is good practice at this initial stage to add an introductory message on the discussion board to introduce yourself, so that the lenders are aware who it is they are addressing and who to direct their questions to.

Once the loan goes live you will be asked questions by lenders. These questions will be asked by potential investors and the answers given will often dictate whether they decide to invest or not. It is important that you ensure that you answer these in as much detail and as promptly as possible.

By subscribing to the listing discussion forum, you will be automatically notified via email each time a new question or reply is posted on your listing. Alternatively, you can visit the site at any time to engage with the lenders.

Previous applicants have found that engaging with our lender base at this stage is an excellent way to get the most out of the P2P lending experience. Our lender base is comprised of a wide cross-section of individuals from various ages, demographics, professions and business experience. Applicants have found this stage of the process to be a valuable opportunity to engage with potential customers, potential new business contacts and gain a number of potential new stakeholders with a vested interest in seeing their business succeed. Building a good rapport with our lending community from the start of the application will likely see the application fund quicker and at a better rate.

Your Loan Has Been Fully Funded

What happens next?

The day after the auction closes, we will send you a completion email which will lay out the steps you need to follow before we can release the funds.

This email will contain:

  • A confirmation of the final interest rate and a breakdown of fees and funds
  • A step by step guide on how to complete the online loan acceptance
  • The legal documentation for the loan (e.g. Loan Agreement, Personal Guarantee)
  • Details of the ID, bank statements, additional contact details and security documents that we require

We try to make the completion email as easy to follow as possible, however if you do need any additional assistance with any part of this process, we’re always available to provide guidance, so please get in touch via email or telephone.

Once you have completed all of the steps and posted the completion documents back to us, you just need to wait for us to confirm the transfer. Once our team has reviewed the submissions, we will be in touch to let you know that we have authorised the transfer.


12th Jan, 2017

FinTech North 2017

Following the success of the inaugural event in 2016, FinTech North 2017 is once again set to take place during Leeds Digital Festival week and aims to attract 350 delegates and support from the FinTech community in the Leeds City Region, across the UK, and internationally.

FinTech North 2017 will be hosted on the 26th April 2017 at aql in Leeds. The goal of the event is to generate collaboration and knowledge share within the financial services and technology community and to generate tangible economic benefits for the region.

The agenda for the one day conference will feature a number of well-known keynote speakers who will cover topics including innovation, alternative finance, big data and analytics, machine learning, digital identity and authentication.

View the 2016 FinTech North video:

 

In recent months the interest and activity in the FinTech arena in Leeds has heightened, with developments including the publication of a FinExtra report into FinTech in the Leeds City Region and the announcement of a new Digital Laboratory which is being led by Finexus and has gained high profile corporate support.

Julian Wells, Director of Whitecap Consulting, says: “There is a strong desire by numerous stakeholders in the Leeds City Region to increase the profile, capability and economic value of FinTech in the region. This year by launching FinTech North we laid the foundations which will enable us to deliver an even more impactful event in 2017 and help put FinTech firmly at the heart of the northern digital economy – particularly the Leeds City Region – making it attractive to UK and international organisations.”

Dr Chris Sier, Director of FiNexus and FinTech Envoy for the Northern Powerhouse, who spoke at FinTech North and will chair the 2017 event, says: “Opportunity was a theme from every speaker at FinTech North 2016. The challenge for Leeds is to work together to ensure our City has the best chance of exploiting the opportunity to become a true FinTech centre of excellence.”

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Nearly 200 business leaders attended the first FinTech North conference in Leeds, and speakers and delegates were drawn from places as diverse as Estonia, Germany, London and Manchester.

Dan Rajkumar, Managing Director of rebuildingsociety.com and White Label Crowdfunding, summed up why the next FinTech North event will be a great opportunity for the region: “There is no doubt Leeds is now seen as a key FinTech and digital leader outside London both for infrastructure and talent. FinTech North 2017 will provide the delegates with a fascinating day of insight and the opportunity to network with industry peers and some of the region’s best known FinTech companies and governmental bodies.”

Registration for FinTech North 2017 is now open – click here to book your free place.

For speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Whitecap Consulting.


19th Dec, 2016

Taylor Made Revisits rebuildingsociety.com

Last year, Taylor Made Property Management Limited tested the crowdfunding waters. They applied for a loan of £103,500 on rebuildingsociety.com; a loan that was fully funded and successfully completed in January 2015. Now, they’re back; this time with a loan application seeking £125,000. The company is the first to make the most of the new changes to the marketplace that we recently introduced, regarding security-dependent interest rate reduction.

Taylor Made Property Management Limited was incorporated in October 2014 with the express purpose of taking over the Preston-based Martin & Co. franchise. This purchase was successful, and the company began trading a few months later.

The funds the company raised through their first crowdfunding efforts in early 2015 were used as planned; to purchase the existing residential letting agent, Woodholme Residential Lettings Limited. The purchase was successful completed on 28th February 2015, just over a month after the loan completed on rebuildingsociety.com.

Richard Taylor has extensive knowledge of the property industry, both in terms of running his business, and as a landlord. We spoke to him about the company’s recent history, their future plans, and the appeal of crowdfunding.

Richard, thank you for talking to us today. Tell us, what made you come back to rebuildingsociety, rather than seeking additional funding elsewhere?

The more traditional funding sources make it so difficult to refinance or even borrow as a business that the obvious choice when looking at refinancing was to come back and see what could be done through rebuildingsociety.com, who I have a track record and history with. I knew that my application would be judged on actual business viability, which I would have the ability to discuss with someone, rather than on a set of rules and criteria that a computer processes and rejects with no human interaction.

Is this interaction something you experienced during your first crowdfunding experience with us?

Yes; and I think the opportunity to communicate directly with lenders is a definite plus. It’s a great way for those who struggle to get more ‘traditional’ sources of funding to begin or progress their business ideas.

How has your company progressed since you completed the loan in early 2015, nearly two years ago now?

It’s been an interesting two years. Regarding the business I acquired, there was a lot that needed to change to bring it up to speed with the industry, and embrace some of the technological changes that would enhance the service offered to tenants, landlords and vendors.

This led to changes in personnel, and so much of the first year was taken up with simply steadying the ship and implementing correct procedure, all of which I am pleased to say were well received. We did not lose any landlords or properties; in fact, we added over 20 properties to our fully-managed portfolio.

The second year has been about building on that success, and we now have a steady, reliable team who are on board with the direction in which the business is going. This is great, because it has allowed me to take a more holistic approach to the development of the company, and to look at areas of potential growth and diversification.

What have been some of these areas of potential growth?

Well, for example, we have had particular success in the vibrant student market in Preston. We now have about 270 rooms available for the 2017/18 academic year, which includes 244 rooms in new, purpose-built, private student halls, which we are the only agent in Preston to be marketing. We have also been working with a number of developers, both locally and nationally, who have seen the potential in Preston and are looking to convert and build residential properties for both the sales and rental markets.

You are currently seeking £125,000 of funding through rebuildingsociety.com. If the loan is fully funded, what will you use the money for?

A large part of it, £75k, will be used to pay off the existing loan with rebuildingsociety. The remaining £50k will be used to fund a strong marketing campaign for the next 12 months, to help us increase our market share in the sales market, as well as reach some other key business development objectives and provide some stability in terms of cash flow.

We recently introduced some changes regarding security-dependent interest rate reductions, and you are the first company to benefit from these changes. What are your views on these improvements?

This is something that has definitely benefited me in applying for this loan. I think the improvements are a plus for both parties, as it encourages the borrower to provide better levels of security which can help reassure lenders that the security offered can genuinely repay the loan should the worst happen.

Why should lenders consider lending to your business?

I have an excellent track record of repayment, which will obviously continue with the new loan. There are a number of challenges facing the housing market at the moment; I believe that we have a good, strong business model with a clear vision of the areas of development and improvements needed to ensure that we can continue in spite of these changes.

With this in mind, what do you hope the future holds for Taylor Made Property Management?

Further growth of the franchise, both within the current geographical area and then potentially expanding to surrounding areas, as well as diversification into property development.

You can find Taylor Made Property Management’s loan profile here.


15th Dec, 2016

Share Your Opinion in the FCA Crowdfunding Surveys!

Regulation is a key, constantly topical issue in the world of finance. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is undergoing a review of crowdfunding regulation in the UK and is collaborating with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CAAF) in order to carry out a Regulation Review.

Through this research programme, scheduled to finish on the 22nd December, the FCA and CAAF aim to obtain feedback that can give them insight into any changes in the nature of the industry; its clients and their expectations; and its position in the financial services landscape. The team at CAAF also expect the research to cover topics such as risk assessment, due diligence management, and investment variation.

The intention is that this feedback be current, free from bias and driven by data. It is expected that the results will demonstrate the ways in which the sector has developed since the 2014 introduction of regulation.

Where you come in…

The feedback from crowdfunding platform users is always important; it enables us to enhance our site, develop improvements and hone the services we offer to better suit those who use them. On this occasion, input from our community is particularly vital, because the feedback received will be used to shape regulation. It is with this in mind that we not only invite, but also encourage you to complete the below surveys by the deadline of next Thursday, 22nd December.

Lenders, please fill in the investor survey that focuses on P2P Business Lending.
Borrowers
, please follow this link to your P2P Business Lending survey.

Thank you for participating and helping to shape the future of crowdfunding!


23rd Nov, 2016

The A-E of Reasons to Take a Business Loan

 Asset Purchase

Assets can often be purchased through a hire purchase agreement, but where this option is unavailable a business loan can fill the funding gap and allow you to spread the cost of potentially expensive equipment.  In some instances the asset can act as security for the loan which will somewhat reduce the risk.

In 2015 more than £29 billion in finance was provided by members of the The Finance & Leasing Association to assist with asset purchases.  This figure is further boosted by the work being carried out by the Peer-to-Peer funders who offer an alternative route to finance outside of the traditional sources.

Business Acquisition

Business acquisition is the process of acquiring another company in order to build on strengths or weaknesses of the acquiring company.  The aim is often to aid growth in a quicker manner than would normally occur organically. We have also supported new business owners who are able to show experience in their field of purchase and where security is strong to support the acquisition.

Cash Flow

Successful businesses typically have a healthy cash flow, but even the best run businesses can experience fluctuations and cash flow finance can be an effective way to ease cash flow issues during busy periods.  For short term options, businesses can use credit cards and overdrafts where appropriate.  Longer term requirements such as construction firms covering a shortfall before they are paid by their customers and import/export or retail businesses making large inventory purchases to save money a loan can offer timely support to help plug this gap in finance. Another popular option is invoice financing and it’s important to consider the best fit for your organisation before entering in to any agreements.

Debt Consolidation

A fairly common use of a loan is to consolidate other debt.  This may seem confusing but there are three main reasons why a business may wish to take this route; businesses can spread the cost of an expensive loan over a longer period, combine several smaller loans into one more manageable loan or they may wish to refinance at a better rate.

Some debt consolidation companies have a bad reputation and Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis rightly warns his readers to be wary of these in this excellent piece on his website.

The key here is to make sure the deal is the right one for you.  Are the savings on the monthly payments going to help you and your business to succeed? Once you have considered the likely rate and repayments on the consolidation loan you will be in a better position to decide if this is the right move for you, but whatever you do, do not blindly accept a deal without considering the benefits or potential pitfalls.

Expansion

If you are looking to grow your business, expansion can take many forms.  There are a plethora of options for expansion including taking on new employees, larger offices, additional sites, product diversification and taking your product online.  You may find a cash injection from a loan helpful in achieving your desired growth. It can help to pay for the new revenue stream in it’s early stages before it starts to pay for itself and could help you to achieve your planned expansion earlier than you may have through organic growth.

Before taking a loan for expansion you should be confident that you have planned effectively and considered the relative risks and challenges.  If the expansion is unsuccessful for any reason you will still be expected to pay the remainder of the loan from your existing profit, so it is vital that there is a clear route to profit before accepting finance to fund the project.

If you are a business looking for funds, bypass the banks and get a better deal in just a few days, call us at 0113 8150 244 or start your online loan application today here


14th Nov, 2016

Introduce us and be Rewarded!

Our lender base is made up of a wide variety of savvy and well connected individuals, many of which are greatly involved with local entrepreneurs and businesses. Growing businesses need access to capital and we’re here to help.

We’d like to reward our members for referring businesses who are looking for additional finance.


If you refer a business to us that successfully raises finance through rebuildingsociety.com, we’ll reward you with a referral fee of 1% of the amount raised. All you have to do is send them our way and ask them to mention you at the point of application or first contact.

We’re looking for businesses that you love and support, that:

  • Have been trading for at least 2 years as a Ltd company or LLP; and
  • Have an average turnover of £50,000 a quarter

To find out more about our lending criteria, please visit How to Borrow

To refer businesses applicants to us, send them the link http://reb.so/apply.

Terms of Referral

* The loan must be fully funded by 31st Dec 2016
* You should not be a shareholder or director of the referred applicant
* You may not act as a broker on behalf of the applicant
* You must be registered lender of rebuildingsociety.com


11th Nov, 2016

The Return of an International Sweet Treat

In 2014, Candy Hero Ltd. came to rebuildingsociety.com looking for an influx of funds in order to expand. They planned to use the investment to boost wholesale sales, strengthen equity and then open a new UK store in time to maximise Christmas time sales.

Candy Hero Ltd. was founded in December 2008, by two entrepreneurial siblings with a mission to bring unique, specialist and delicious sweets from all over the world to sweet-toothed customers in the UK and Europe.

The online shop was launched in 2009, to be followed later by high street shops in York and Leeds. Visit one of their shops, and prepare to be tempted by Birthday Cake Golden Oreos, exploding cinnamon candy, Nerds, giant lollipops, wasabi candy and boxes of Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans, to name just a few from the vast collection. The 10,000 square foot warehouse in Bradford sees around 4,000 unique product lines carefully handled by employees individually chosen to fit the company’s high energy, innovative ethos.


The sweet importers and retailers’ first loan application was a great success; brothers and co-owners Frank and Leo managed to raise the target £50,000 from investors. Candy Hero Ltd. invested the money they raised into the wholesale distribution of imported sweets, snacks, and groceries. They decided not to open a shop, as they were unable to find an adequate unit within their chosen city. Instead, they focused on their online sector. In the last two years, the company has:

  • grown turnover significantly; 2015 to 2016 saw 83% growth
  • increased their stock-holding capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet
  • acquired a great number of additional wholesale customers
  • built a proprietary pre-order system
  • co-ordinated a huge UK product range comprising around 10,000 lines available for pre-order and export
  • improved internal systems with strong procedures that improve staff training processes
  • added powerful price and margin controls and mitigated currency fluctuations

Frank commented on their experiences with rebuildingsociety:

“They provided a smooth process prior to listing the application, support throughout, and a platform that is clear and easy-to-use. Rebuildingsociety is a very impressive social business that is a powerful tool when you need extra finance above and beyond what may have been already possible.”

Perhaps one of the keys to their online funding success was the company’s open-door policy. Frank discusses business with his team quite openly, “from the top to the bottom of the organisation, in response to any question.” Therefore, he embraced the discussion forums available on rebuildingsociety.com, believing that “talking business with lenders in a peer-to-peer environment with the same openness and clarity builds up the confidence to invest in us.”

Now, Candy Hero is back with a new loan application. The return borrowers are well-supported by rebuildingsociety’s lender base, something they hope will help them fund their £300,000 loan application. If successful, the team plan to refinance £184,000 to achieve cheaper interest per month and fewer capital repayments per month, and use additional capital to add to the stock cycle.

When asked why they decided to return to Rebuildingsociety, Frank explained that while their bank is very supportive, recently offering them a new import loan facility, they cannot approve a loan of this size. As he commented: “The only method of gaining a loan of this size would be crowdfunding and the only place I want to crowdfund is Rebuildingsociety.”

Read about the company on their website, and find out more about their loan application at rebuildingsociety.com.

Lending to businesses carries risk. Past returns are not necessarily a guide to future returns. Any unrepaid capital is at risk of arrears or default. To find out more please visit http://reb.so/risk


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