Chinese lending giant invests in JustUs

Chinese lending giant invests in JustUs

JustUs, the ambitious new Peer-to-Peer consumer lender founded by Cheshire entrepreneur Lee Birkett, has received backing from one of China’s leading financial groups.

Having already invested £50,000 in JustUs, a four-strong delegation from GuanQun Investment will visit JustUs’ Cheshire headquarters next week with a view to increasing its investment and discussing strategic international partnerships.

The investment will provide a major boost to the company's ongoing £5m fundraising campaign as it looks to continue growing its operations in the North West.

GuanQun Investment (GQI), which is based in London, is part of Guanqun Chicheng, a Beijing-based group and one of the most successful peer-to-peer lenders in China.

Guanqun Chicheng was founded in 2009 and has supported around 200,000 small and medium-sized enterprises. It has more than 10,000 employees based at some 500 branches across China.

JustUs founder and chief executive, Lee Birkett, said: “We are excited and delighted to welcome the distinguished delegation from GQI, including members of the investment committee, and look forward to continuing our relationship with this important strategic partner.

“It is great news that an international business has spotted the potential of JustUs and also share our passion for a healthy and risk-controlled P2P lending model.”

He added: “We have been pleased with the response to our fundraising, despite a period of great financial turbulence since the EU referendum debate, and are greatly excited about the future.”

Last month JustUs launched a £5.35m fundraise, with £4m sought from institutional investors, and a further £1m from on the Crowdcube platform, which is live now.

The fundraising will value JustUs at £26m and allow the company to embark on a recruitment drive for more than 100 people and a high profile media campaign.