Funding Circle has announced plans to raise £300 million through a stock market flotation.
The peer-to-peer lender offers loans to small businesses by matching them with lenders and currently works in the UK, Germany, Netherlands and US.
“Today’s announcement is the start of the next stage in our exciting and transformational journey,” said Samir Desai, chief executive and co-founder of Funding Circle.
“By combining cutting-edge technology with our own proprietary credit models and sophisticated data analytics, we deliver a better deal for small businesses and investors around the world,” he added.
The funds raised will be used to expand into new markets.
Founded in 2010 by three former Oxford University students, the group has lent over £5 billion in loans to 50,000 small businesses from 80,000 investors.
The flotation is expected to value Funding Circle at up to £2 billion.
A previous funding round valued the company at £900 million ($1.16 billion), giving the group “unicorn” status – startups valued at over $1 billion.
Danny Cox, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “IPO season seems to be picking up a bit of pace, and unlike with many new share issues, private investors will be able to participate in Funding Circle’s planned flotation.”
“As ever investors should make sure they read all relevant documentation published by the company, and consider the risks as well as the potential upside of any investment,” he added.
As part of the share sale Anders Povlsen, a Danish billionaire, will take a ten percent stake in the group.
Povlsen owns the clothing retailer Bestseller, whilst also owning large stakes in Asos (LON: ASC) and German rival Zalando (ETR: ZAL).
The formal registration of plans to float on the London stock exchange comes nine months after Sky News reported on the group’s initial plans for an IPO.