Life after Smarta 100: borro

What stage was your business at when you won the Smarta 100 last year?

Borro started lending in March 2009 and we've been rapidly growing since. Last year when we won Smarta 100 our focus was on scaling our UK operations - our loan book and average loan value have more than tripled since.

Why did you enter the awards?

We entered the Smarta 100 to further increase borro's profile as a leader in the alternative finance space.

What was the experience like?

It was a fun experience getting the whole company involved in promoting borro through our online and offline networks.

How has your business benefited from being a part of Smarta 100?

Being part of Smarta 100 has provided us with a great platform to promote the business and further educate people on our type of lending. We have always placed a focus on PR and using the media to increase awareness and exposure - in Q4 of 2011 alone we had PR coverage equivalent to over £1m worth of advertising spend. Being named as a Smarta 100 winner helped with establishing the recognition of borro as an innovative and fast-growing business in the UK.

What has your business achieved since being named a Smarta 100 winner?

We have proven that we can scale and expand internationally at minimum time and investment. We made the decision to launch in the US in mid-October 2011, issued our first loan in mid-December and by January 2012 we hit the ground running fully operational. It's been going amazingly well and in March this year we already crossed the $1M barrier of issued loans in the US.

What is your top tip for any company thinking of entering Smarta 100 this year?

This is really a numbers game so promote your business using your networks as well as social media. Leverage your connections and get people behind you. This is a great opportunity to really get some traction with your product and get your name out there.

For all the information on the Smarta 100, together with O2, and how to enter click here, www.smarta.com/100.

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