July 21, 2015
Occasionally, people find themselves in a pinch to raise quick cash needed to seize opportunities or address unplanned events such as an unforeseen legal problem or healthcare costs.
For some people, this much-needed liquidity is trapped in illiquid luxury assets such as jewelry, cars, fine wine, art and antiques. So, Borro’s solution is to facilitate borrowing against these luxury assets—a type of loan not typically provided by banks, auction sites, galleries or antique dealers.
Borro Limited (www.borro.com) has created an online platform that allows users to discreetly and conveniently release this liquidity from personally owned, highly valued property leveraging the convenience of a simple web transaction. Borro’s process is designed to get customers the maximum value for luxury items in a minimum time.
Founded by Paul Aitken and launched in August 2008, the London-based Borro became the UK's first ever online luxury asset lender. Paul has extensive senior operations, supply chain, marketing & strategy experience in the retail and IT sectors from his time working with DSG International and RM plc. Prior to Borro, Aitken founded Movota, a provider of mobile solutions to media companies. Paul also holds an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Jonathon Albright is the Group Chief Financial Officer of Borro. Before joining Borro, he served as the CFO of TDX Group, CMAX Holdings, and Barclaycard UK. In addition, Jonathon was the Senior Vice President & Finance Director of JPMorgan Chase. He has an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and a BSB with honors from Wake Forest University.
Tom McDermott is the company’s Chief Commercial Officer. Tom previously held executive positions with Capital One Financial, Western Union and Reckitt Benckiser/L&F Products.
As a team, their system is strategic and economically effective. Last year, Borro announced a new funding round of $112 million, coming entirely from one late-stage equity investor who focuses on financial technology and services investments, Victory Park Capital. In addition, some of the most progressive global venture firms, like Canaan Partners, Rocket Internet, Eden Ventures, Augmentum Capital, and OurCrowd, have expressed the same confidence in Borro and stand as loyal investors. Currently, the total funding amounts to $171.9 million.
Borro offers three types of loans that facilitate the trade of luxury assets. The initial step is applying online or by phone. An expert is then sent to evaluate and collect the item, and provide clients with an advance of up to 70% of the estimated sale price. Borro has a network of over 300 accredited specialist appraisers worldwide and they manage the entire sale process of clients’ luxury assets.
If the item sells for more than the value for which it was consigned, Borro will return the difference to the customer. They also offer bridge loans and term loans. These allow customers to collateralize their assets in exchange for a loan. Once the loan is paid back, the item is returned.
Borro has a dogmatic code of conduct religiously adhered to throughout the entire process. This code is built on principles of privacy, transparency, convenience, and responsibility.