Entrepreneurs often thrive in circumstances where traditional, established companies struggle – Microsoft, General Electric and Disney were all started during recessions.

Nonetheless, 2008 was a precarious time to set up a mortgage business – as LendInvest co-founders Christian Faes and Ian Thomas candidly pointed out during a recent Leap 100 Breakfast.

Although the online marketplace model had been proven to work – Amazon and eBay had been established over a decade earlier – LendInvest was initially both “offline” and “pretty uninteresting”.

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LendInvest uses tech to match lenders and borrowers.

In the early years, its bread and butter was supplying bridging finance to property investors; more recently it has branched into development finance, funding SME property developers to build houses across the UK, and offering buy-to-let mortgages.

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