Finance

Underdog Folk2Folk steams ahead in digital finance

By Kitty Knowles 8 December 2016
Summary

Get to know Folk2Folk - the Cornwall-based crowdfunding platform that has just pushed to the front of the pack.

You might already know Jane Dumeresque, CEO of the Cornwall-based peer-to-peer platform Folk2Folk. (Earlier this year we celebrated the entrepreneur as a pioneer shaking up the world of digital finance).

The business helps people lend money to local projects and businesses, and even has a network of shops where businesses and lenders can talk to staff in person. The community-centric platform has lent over £125m since its launch in 2013.

Now, the relatively modest business has pushed to the very front of the pack:

This week it’s become the largest fully-authorised peer-to-peer business in Britain.

Leading the way

The new accreditation from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a clear show of confidence, Dumeresque said.

“I think it speaks volumes about Folk2Folk as a business having gained its full FCA authorisation ahead of many of the industry’s leading and larger platforms,” said the CEO.

Indeed, this is very much a case of the underdog winning out, leaving bigger better-known names like Zopa, Funding Circle, and RateSetter in the dust.

All three are operating under so-called ‘interim permissions’ despite having lent over £1bn each.

The new authorisation means Folk2Folk can get a step ahead, not only in reputation, but by offering the Innovative Finance ISA.

Perhaps being people-first in the real world is the way to win at peer-to-peer after all.

Read more: What the heck is… an Innovative Finance ISA?

Read more: 16 pioneering women shaking up digital finance

Read more: Women use words better: The secret to successful crowdfunding?