Ontario Teachers’ Pension Takes a Bet on UK Fintech Company Lendable

The pension fund led a $277 million fundraising round for the late-stage venture company.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension, one of the largest pension plans in Canada with more than $177 billion (C$227 billion) assets under management, is becoming a dominant force in the venture capital world. It currently leads an investment round for a late-stage venture capital financial technology company called Lendable.

Lendable lends capital to emerging market and frontier market startups. It trims time from traditional loan applications and provides lower interest rates to borrowers. The company has more than tripled its valuation over the past year, rising from $1.3 billion (£1 billion) to $4.6 billion (£3.5 billion). Successful fintech startups like MFS Africa and TerraPay, among others, have borrowed money through Lendable.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension has been increasing its venture capital and private market footprint. It created the Teachers’ Innovation Platform three years ago to focus on late-stage venture capital investments in Europe, Asia and the United States.

The fund has increased its allocation to real assets from $35 billion (C$45 billion) to $55 billion (C$70 billion) last year and has promised that most of that money will go to private markets.

“The best part of C$70bn will go to private activities around the world,” said Jo Taylor, the president of Ontario Teachers’ Pension, in an interview with the Financial Times.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension has produced many well-known asset managers, including new CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Nicole Musicco.

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