It has been a while since I last blogged about the business, the journey and what we have been working on in the background. This is not intentional, but like everybody working in a growing business, you become engrossed in developing and building – often without taking a breath.
So why V2, what’s new in 2022?
Let us start with the why. In 2018 we became an appointed representative of Rebuilding Society, this allowed us to operate as a peer-to-peer platform. From the outset, our intention was always to become a directly authorised business, so we could work closely with the FCA to improve and develop a sector we are genuinely passionate about.
Struggles with Third-Party Partners
When we became an appointed representative, the platform, through which investors could register and invest in our latest property projects, was launched utilising approved third-party software. Whilst fully functional, using a third-party partner has led to some frustrations, as we were confined within the framework of the software provider. Consequently, this has prevented us having the ability to change key areas of the platform, which we knew would be beneficial to our investors.
This leads me nicely to what’s new and why, in V2. As stated above, becoming directly authorised was always a clear goal for the business. To help deliver against this ambition, we began looking at firms that could help us with the process and decided to begin working with Thistle Initiatives at the end of 2020. Thistle have been fantastic in helping me and the team review and revise our systems, policies and procedures, to coincide with the FCA preferences and expectations from directly authorised firms. As the months passed, we began to plan our application submission.
Identifying our First Acquisition
During a regular catch-up call with our principle, I was introduced to Roger Smith, the compliance director of Peer Funding Limited. Peer Funding Limited is a peer-to-peer lending platform that had stopped trading, due to the senior team having different ideas on how the business should be taken forward. Roger and the Commercial Director, Tony Hedger, were looking to sell their business and as we got talking, it was clear we shared the same vision. We all had a passion for the sector and their experiences complemented the team at Sourced Capital.
It’s amazing sometimes how a simple introduction can change the course of your business and that is exactly what happened. After meeting and spending time with Roger and Tony, we proposed to purchase their company and bring them into the Sourced Capital family.
There is no Easy Route with the FCA
We spent a huge amount of time with Thistle, working through our plan and how our application with the FCA would need to reflect a change in control, due to Peer Funding Limited already being directly authorised. For anybody reading this thinking – “Great, I’ll purchase a company to avoid going through the directly authorised process”, let me assure you it is no shortcut! The FCA were as diligent, if not more so, in understanding our business, our team, our processes, resources and the additional level of how this all fits with Peer Funding Limited.
After what has been an extremely rigorous process, I am very proud to say we were approved for the change in control and on the 24th January 2022, we completed the purchase of Peer Funding Limited.
Setting up for Future Growth
The completion of this purchase will always be in my memories, as it is the first acquisition for Sourced Capital. The purchase helped achieve our primary goal of becoming directly authorised and it brought in two very experienced and committed Directors, to help guide and support the business.
During the process of our application with the FCA, we began developing our own, bespoke platform. We took the time to speak with investors to understand what it is they want from the platform and how we can deliver this.
The team at Sourced Capital have worked exceptionally hard in developing a new platform that is better suited to us as a business and it has a cleaner dashboard with better reporting and statement functionality.
The Latest Technology Partners
A focus for our new platform was utilising the latest in technology and working with established and reliable partners. This is what led to our introduction to Goji. Goji are a technology platform who are specialists automating onboarding, AML, payments, client money handling and reporting. Importantly, Goji were already known to the FCA and considered fully acceptable, as they had already dealt with the company via relationships with other platforms.
Goji partner with Starling Bank and Modulr, providing investors their own e-wallets linked to the Sourced Capital platform , offering easier routes to invest and withdraw monies. Our development team have built a new lending platform and integrated it with Goji to provide seamless services and automated functionality.
Refreshing our Brand
In addition to the above, our development team has also created an entirely new front-end website, which will provide more intuitive functionality and an overall better user experience.
I am very happy to confirm that the new website and platform went live on the 1st February 2022, again achieving one of the company’s key goals.
Existing investors in Sourced Capital will know that we only lend to franchisees of our sister company and, with our franchisee network doubling in the past 12 months, the pipeline of projects is continuing to grow. Consequently, there are increasing numbers of investment opportunities being presented to Sourced Capital.
With this in mind, 2022 looks to be an exciting year with continued growth and an ethos to support, succeed and achieve. To find out how Sourced Capital works and the investment opportunities we offer to investors, click here.
Stephen Moss, Sourced Founder and Managing Director.
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