As originally published in Business Insider
Funding Circle, a UK fintech company worth over £1 billion, is dedicating an entire floor of its new headquarters in London to younger startups.
The peer-to-peer lending company moved into 71 Queen Victoria Street in Mansion House last September on a 10-year lease, having outgrown three previous offices at Oxford Circus, Southwark, and Blackfriars over the last five years.
The company secured two former trading floors in the Royal Bank of Canada building but it only requires one for its 280 staff right now. As a result, it is making 400 desks available on the floor it isn’t using to small businesses and freelancers. The desks can be booked through this page on property marketplace Hubble.
Pam Burton, Funding Circle’s chief operating officer in the UK, told Business Insider: “We took more space than we needed so that we could grow into it over the next few years, but in the meantime, we’re really excited to offer desks to startups and small businesses at a reduced market rate.
“We know what it’s like to be small and entrepreneurial, and we hope that access to central London and the city will mean other firms have the opportunity to flourish.”
Funding Circle will charge around £499 per desk a month, which is slightly less than the going rate for a desk in the city, according to a Funding Circle spokeswoman, who said the average is closer to £600-£650 per desk per month.
Startups that move into the office will get access to Wi-Fi, bike storage, ping pong, and showers.
Hubble said there is an increasing trend towards large, well-established companies wanting to share their own space to give newer startups a boost in London. Of 500 workspaces on the Hubble website, 29% are SMEs offering out spare space; 5% of which are businesses worth over £100 million.
A Hubble spokesman told Business Insider: “They [Funding Circle] just raised a Series E funding round and have taken on a large headquarters. They plan to use the space in the next two years as they expand.”