How Funding Circle Got Our Startup Dream off the Ground

Varun Bhanot
Varun Bhanot|

It was at art school in 1999 when Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden ran into each other. The rest, they say, is history. Each armed with a dream to create fashion pieces that express individuality in a fun and distinctive way, they created Tatty Devine.

They set up shop in a Brick Lane studio and set about in search of a world where the boundaries between art, fashion and culture were all blurred. In May 2013, they borrowed £100,000 from 1,211 people through Funding Circle. This loan took just 7 days.


And now, 300 stockists, 2 MBE honours and a concession at Selfridges later, Tatty Devine is one of the fastest growing art jewellery brands in the country.

“The bank is a difficult place to go for money. Accessing anything over £20k becomes problematic.” Tatty Devine received all of their money in just 2 weeks.

Upgrade your startup office: You can work in Funding Circle’s brand new City workspace

Funding circle was created with one massive idea: to revolutionise the outdated banking system and secure a better deal for everyone. It was launched at a time when small businesses were struggling to obtain finance from traditional routes back in 2010.

The impact was such that 77% of businesses that borrow through Funding Circle said they were more likely to approach the P2P lender than go to the bank again. Local councils, universities and even the British government are now racing to invest money in Funding Circle businesses.

More than £1bn has been lent to 15,000 businesses in the UK, USA, and Europe to date. Your business could borrow money from more than 40,000 people too.

The company is one of the pioneers of the prosperous London Fintech scene and is one of the best capitalised marketplace lending platforms in the world.
If you have a great tech business, or simply want to work amongst a global success phenomenon, they have just opened their City office doors where you can build your business dream.

Jon Swain and Peter Hills will tell you all about how Funding Circle elevated their business to success. From originally working in pubs, they decided to take the leap and make beer of their own. They started the first brewing company in Hackney since the mid-2000s: Hackney Brewery. To buy a new fermenter and increase production, the entrepreneurs borrowed £30,000 from 451 investors.

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This has enabled the company to run into their 4th year and deliver beers to the East End, London and beyond. They’ve even taken on 8 members of staff in a 100% renewable energy brewhouse.

Funding Circle are making business dreams come true. Why not share desks with them?

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