Borro, the specialist asset lender, has lent £50 million ($75 million) since launching in 2008. Most of this lending is secured by art.
The lender, which takes custody of any assets until loans are fully re-paid, will lend up to £1 million against art or other high value assets. However, its average loan is £7,000 for individuals and £24,000 for small and medium sized companies.
Significant art finance transactions include providing £200,000 to an owner of a John Singer Sargent oil painting and a £1 million loan lent against a private art collection.
The company started lending to clients to the US in February 2012.
“We are seeing clients using high value assets such as luxury cars, fine art, diamonds, jewellery and even vintage wine collections to unlock finance,” says Paul Aitken, founder and CEO of Borro. “People are turning to alternative sources of lending for a variety of reasons; most of our customers are looking to facilitate business transactions and opportunities while others come to us to fund surveys and pay other fees relating to property refinancing. Other reasons include supporting an irregular income, funding holidays and school fees, and helping to pay tax bills and other unexpected expenses. Borro provides a solution for those looking to raise finance, by releasing the equity held in their personal assets.”
Borro says that half of its lending is personal and the rest to small and medium sized companies.
The company aims to give lending decisions with one day with borrowers giving their assets to Borro until loans are repaid.
Investors in Borro include Canaan Partners, Ribbit Capital, Augmentum Capital, European Founders Fund, Eden Ventures and Octopus Investments.