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Lending group secures £100m funding


Manchester-based Darwin Group has announced plans to expand its range of lending products after securing £100m in funding.

The facility was provided by Insight Asset Management and an undisclosed UK-based private credit lender, who join existing funding partners NatWest and Shawbrook Bank.

The group – which offers secured and unsecured loans through its Evolution and Progressive Money brands – will use the funds to increase market share and develop new products.

“We are entering an exciting new phase of growth and I am delighted to have such forward-looking and supportive funding partners investing in our business,” said Steve Brilus, chief executive of Darwin.

“This funding provides the springboard to enable us to achieve our ambitious plans and to take Evolution and Progressive Money to the next level.

“The funding also provides the building blocks for further internal opportunities as the business expands from its Manchester base, allowing us to invest in all operational areas as well as staff training and development.”

The deal was advised by the financial services corporate finance team at Ernst & Young.

"We are grateful to Nick Parkhouse and the team at Ernst & Young for facilitating this transaction,” added Mat Beaver, managing director of Darwin.

“They have worked closely with us in understanding our business and our plans, and have supported us throughout the process.

“Our vision is to be the market-leading specialist lender of choice for our customers with the ambition to have a wide portfolio of direct-lending options that satisfy the needs of consumers.

“The investment allows us to invest in the tools, whether they be internal or externally sourced, to allow us to achieve this.”

Darwin Group has loaned more than £120m since launching in 2011.

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