According to reports from Sky News, P2P lending giant Funding Circle is preparing an IPO in 2018. The reports state that the company will start seeking out advisors in the form of investment banks in spring of this year, with the float taking place in Q4 2018.

One of the many success stories in the UK Fintech industry, Funding Circle has already received major backing from Accel - leader of an £82m funding round in January 2017 - in addition to Baillie Gifford, Index Ventures and Rocket Internet.

The company was founded in 2010 by Samir Desai, Sam Hodges and James Meekings and has facilitated $5bn worth of loans globally. It also boasts partnerships with Santander and RBS, as well as a presence in the UK, US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

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Business Insider highlights two major developments which point to a likely float. These are the extensive (and expensive) marketing and rebranding campaign running since August 2017 and the changes in role of the chief executives which often occur in anticipation of an IPO.

Any flotation would likely be closely monitored by other UK Fintechs such as TransferWise who have so far held off going public. According to the Sky News reports, the IPO could value Funding Circle at well over the $1bn valuation it received in its last funding round, and any successful float that sees the valuation met and share price rise could be the spark to ignite a series of Fintech IPOs in an industry that is rapidly maturing.