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borro secures £20m through Octopus Investments

Robyn Hall

October 31, 2012

borro has disrupted the mainstream pawnbroking and auction industries by creating a liquidity marketplace for luxury personal assets.

Launched in the UK in 2008 and in the US in January 2012, borro has defined a new category of lending – ‘Personal Asset Lending’ – in the process. With an average loan value of £6,000, borro focuses on providing liquidity from luxury personal assets such as watches, jewellery, high-end cars, fine art and antiques.

Octopus, one of the UK’s leading specialist investment management companies, first financed borro’s UK loan book in 2011.

The facility builds on Octopus’ existing relationship with borro and the growing demand for personal asset backed lending in the UK.

Paul Aitken, CEO and Founder of borro, said: “This new funding line represents the confidence the market has in our business, and marks the next development in our relationship with Octopus Investments.

“It is another exciting step for borro, and will allow us meet the demand from clients for our unique lending proposition, therefore maximizing our opportunity to become the leading global online liquidity marketplace for luxury personal assets.

“We have invested heavily in our UK and US businesses with a recent equity injection (£16 million) from a US-led venture capital consortium, and in Octopus Investments we have a very important partnership that provides a significant new lending capacity to meet demand for our lending.”

Hugh Costello, investment manager at Octopus, added: “We have been working with borro’s management team for the last 18 months and we continue to be impressed by borro’s product, its business model and the team. There is significant growth potential within this area of specialist lending and borro is rapidly asserting itself as the market leader in the personal asset backed lending sector.

“borro is in a strong position to grow in the UK and US and it is a well capitalised business. Its recent round of equity fundraising (£16 million) is testament to the confidence its investors have in its operational focus and loan book management. We look forward to continuing to support the business as it enters its next stage of development.”

This latest funding line brings borro’s financing activities to £36 million in the last two weeks.

borro recently announced a £16 million fundraising round from a venture capital consortium led by tech investment giant Canaan Partners, a global venture capital firm with over £2 billion under management.

Ribbit Capital also invested in the round, and previous investors Augmentum Capital, Eden Ventures, and Rockridge participated as well. The investment accelerates rapid growth in both the UK and US markets for borro.


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