Food for thought with Samir Desai, co-founder and CEO of Funding Circle
As part of Osper’s ‘TLT’ (Thursday Lunchtime Talks) series we welcomed Samir Desai, co-founder and CEO of Funding Circle, a fantastic UK company making it easier for anybody to secure and contribute to a business loan.
Having explored the convoluted world of getting a loan, Samir came to the conclusion that many start up founders come to something is broken, in this case it was the old banking system. He therefore set out with co founder James Meekings to redefine loans for people who just needed that helping hand to get up and running.
Today a staggering $500m (£300m) has been lent to 5,000 businesses.
It’s always amazing to hear success stories, but what’s even better is hearing about the challenges and pitfalls that startups have to face along the way, and how these are overcome. Samir spoke openly about the early days and how when their first few loans left them in the red they were losing money left right and centre. Despite this they persevered knowing that what they wanted to achieve was a good thing.
Needless to say, they cracked it and have continued to do so.
In October 2013 Funding Circle launched in the US, globally they have lent more than $800 million. Thanks to Samir for giving his time to us!
Take away thought
Ping pong is a serious game and it’s really important people in your company understand that. If you’re putting your company forward for the annual Ping Pong Fight Club: Battle of the Tech Titans, remember winning is everything. If you have to fly someone in from the US to compete in the finals, then you do it. The Glory is worth it.