Initiative Ireland has today announced the launch of Ireland’s first syndicated property finance platform.

The launch coincides with the company’s pre-approval of a €1.5 million secured loan, which has been approved for funding via the platform. The largest crowd-lending loan approved to date in Ireland, the loan will fund the development of 10 social housing apartments and a ground floor restaurant on the North Strand Road, Dublin.

The loan has already been guaranteed funding, subject to final legal due diligence, by Initiative Ireland’s institutional members but will be made available for syndication to its other private members from today via the new platform.

The loan is secured with a first legal charge, and will see phased syndication and release of funds to the borrower over 12 months, subject to ongoing certification of works by the company’s partnering quantity surveyors. Membership is free although a minimum of €10,000 must be committed per loan, to participate in a Private Syndicate at this time.

Initiative Ireland has also partnered with regulated European payment institution Mangopay to offer regulated electronic money accounts to its members via the platform.

Initiative Ireland is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin and is supported by Enterprise Ireland as a high-potential start-up. It was founded in 2015 by an experienced financial services team, with the goal of providing increased financial inclusion, competition and sustainability to the Irish finance market.

Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland said, “Over two years ago we set out to launch a new honest, fair and inclusive finance model for Ireland. From today, our private members will be among the first to gain access to what is an exclusive secured asset class, often available only to Banks and specialist institutions. We look forward to welcoming new borrowers and lenders alike and are committed to delivering sustainable value to the Irish Housing Sector.”

In July of this year, the company announced its ambition to finance approximately 250 new family homes by end 2018. With a pipeline of projects already in place, today’s announcement is expected to be the first of a series of high-value secured property loans to be funded by the company and its members.

He added, “Our syndicated finance model is unique in the country by design. It offers increased financial inclusion to individuals who want to put their money to work but we have designed our offering, with a focus first and foremost on capital security. When you lend money through a crowd lending platform, your money is at risk, similar to an investment. We are committed to safeguarding lenders, which is why all are loans are carefully managed from end-to-end and secured with a 1st legal charge over Irish Real Estate.”

He concluded, “Our offering supports additional, small developments across the country, with the expectation of financing the construction of a further 250 to 500 new homes per annum starting in 2019. Our affordable pricing is designed to activate dormant sites and as such this additional lending is expected to deliver a further 600 to 1200 additional construction jobs in 2019, in addition to 50 new jobs to be created in the company, over the next 5 years.”

Initiative Ireland aims to provide competitive terms and rates to experienced property developers exclusively. Primarily focused on residential developments, with planning in place, the company provides up to 80% of required funding up to a maximum of €10 million per loan. Each loan is carefully assessed and pre-approved by an internal credit risk committee prior to syndication amongst members.

All loans are secured with a 1st lien against Irish real estate and must have a clearly defined exit strategy. In return, Initiative Ireland offers highly competitive finance terms and rates. As such, the company aims to become the lender of first choice for experienced developers who are working to deliver much needed family homes.

For its private lending members, it offers them returns of up to 7.50% APR on their committed funds and an opportunity to support the construction of New Housing across Ireland.

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