A fast-growing East London pub chain is set to open its fourth pub after receiving a £43,000 refurbishment loan from peer-to-business lender, rebuildingsociety.
Electric Star Ltd, which operates The Star of Bethnal Green, The Star of Kings and The Star by Hackney Downs, is opening the doors of The Jackdaw and Star in Homerton later this summer, following a bespoke refurbishment.
rebuildingsociety works by allowing hundreds of individual lenders to pledge varying amounts towards a loan request posted on its website. It administers monthly capital and interest repayments on behalf of its borrowers.
So far over 60 loans, totalling more than £3m, have been created by rebuildingsociety for firms in a variety of industries across the UK.
Rob Star, owner of Electric Star, explains: “I’ve always had a strong relationship with my bank, but the last time I went for a loan, it took them five months to turn me down. With rebuildingsociety it was less than four weeks from our initial application to receiving the cash in the bank, and I’ve raised awareness of our business to hundreds of potential customers.”
Throughout the loan process, Rob interacted with members of rebuildingsociety’s lending community, who wanted to find out more about Rob’s business plans and financial projections.
“I enjoyed answering questions about the business. It made me think hard about certain aspects and was a valuable exercise. We believe we’re doing the right thing in a changing market. People want an experience now, not just a pint.
“We’ve embraced this by franchising our kitchens to chefs who are passionate about their food, which combined with our penchant for craft beers and a packed events schedule is really appealing to people in East London”, says Rob.
Nick Moules, Marketing Manager at rebuildingsociety adds: “Our lenders could see the clear growth trends in Rob’s business. He now has hundreds of new stakeholders with an interest in the success of his business. When Rob expands again, he will probably have a crowd of lenders ready to help him achieve his plans. We believe there is true value in raising loans from individuals ahead of the banks, and by that we don’t just mean the faster turnaround, competitive rates and waived repayment charge that we offer.”