A new peer to peer lender Flender hopes to launch in 2017. Flender enables consumers and businesses to raise finance through their social circles – be they friends, family, customers or social network connections. The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new platform that enables users to borrow and lend money in both the traditional peer-to-peer market but uniquely also with their own social networks.

The platform has been in development for two years and will provide a framework for the social lending industry – loans between friends & family – which a new survey estimates to be worth over £2.9 billion* a year. The service will enable people to engage in peer-to-peer lending with their social and business connections meaning that rather than engaging with a bank or loan company, there is an added element of trust from personal connections.

 Uniquely, it will also allow businesses to raise finance through their existing customers, increasing loyalty and improving their offering to the same customers. The crowdfunding campaign, launching on the Seedrs platform on 21st November, is aiming to raise £500,000 in exchange for 10% equity in Flender.

Independent research performed on behalf of Flender indicates that nearly a quarter of people (23%) have confessed to falling out with people over lending money issues and that 44% had lent or borrowed money to or from a family member of friend in the past year, indicating a real need for an platform such as Flender which comes with a regulated framework to which users agree.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Kristjan Koik, Managing Director of Flender said “The social lending market among friends, family and business connections has never been formalised, which is crazy when you consider that this is a market worth just under £3 billion a year. Asking people you know for money – and lending to them – is awkward and is certainly an unreliable means of finance. Whether it’s to grow your business, fund further study, or to fund home improvements, Flender will let you borrow from and lend reliably and easily via any device. For individuals, there is satisfaction of helping others while earning more interest than a standard savings account while businesses can have access to funds faster and at their preferred rate. Everyone wins.”