27 April 2015

KC Peaches and GRID Finance are celebrating today, having successfully raised €55,000 on GRID Finance’s  peer to peer lending platform, making it one of the largest ever peer to peer loans financed in Ireland.


The loan, which attracted lenders from the pool of users already on the platform, as well as KC Peaches’ own customers and supporters in the community, will be used to undertake renovations in the wholefood specialists’ four cafe locations across Dublin city centre.


KC Peaches owner, Katie Cantwell, has seen SMEs in her native America take back the power from the traditional banking system through peer to peer financing.  Katie raised a total of €55,000 at 8.27% interest. When asked about using the GRID platform for customer engagement, Katie commented “We take great care in building relationships with our customers; being able to offer our customers the opportunity to invest in KC Peaches and earn a return was a new way for us to show our customers real appreciation for their continuous support over the years”.


Launched in September 2014, the financial model for GRID Finance was inspired by the effective Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) schemes in East Africa that CEO, Derek Butler, witnessed as part of his work with Goal. Derek was the financial controller in Uganda for Goal and then the Country Director in Haiti following the earthquake and wanted to bring this simple but effectiveVSLA model to life in Ireland, which he believed was crying out for practical alternatives to the traditional banking modelfor SME’s and community organisations.


Speaking about the successful funding of the KC Peaches project, Derek F. Butler, CEO, GRID Finance said: “Since GRID Finance launched six months ago we have been really impressed by the levels of interest from business owners wanting to explore new ways of financing their business. A willingness, by companies like KC Peaches, to adopt new ways of financing is a clear sign that SMEs in Ireland are leading the way in business management innovation. We have had a number of well-known businesses raise finance through the platform and we are delighted to see KC Peaches coming back to raise finance on the GRID for a second time. KC Peaches is a testimony to the benefit of using the power of local community to successfully finance your business expansion or project. Looking beyond the traditional banking model can be a great opportunity for SME’s to access funds quickly and enable them to seize opportunities to grow and expand their businesses as they arise.”


GRID Finance enables businesses to access finance independent of their banks, whilst at the same time allowing people to earn attractive, stable returns. This process sidesteps the banks with businesses receiving finance in a matter of days compared to up to three months for a traditional bank loan. The company was founded by Derek Butler and Sean O’Riordan, both of whom have significant experience in the financial sector, having worked withorganisations such as PWC, KPMG, Goodbody Stockbrokers and EY. 


For more information on current projects live on the GRID or to find out more about how GRID Finance works, visitwww.grid.finance