#13. Samir Desai

CEO & Founder, Funding Circle 

Samir Desai One of the co-founders and the current CEO of Funding Circle, Samir Desai has been widely recognized for his peer-to-peer prowess in the FinTech world. In fact, in 2015 the British government honored Desai with a CBE, short for Commander of the Order of the British Empire, one of the U.K.’s most prestigious awards. The next rung up the ladder is knighthood, so for this young entrepreneur still in his 30s, this recognition is certainly a feather in his cap. Desai is rightly regarded as one of Britain’s biggest FinTech stars for his role as an innovator and all his hard work at Funding Circle. Since it began in 2010, the company has helped create more than 50,000 jobs and lent more than $1.5 billion as it expanded operations into the United States, when it merged with San Francisco’s Endurance Lending Network in 2013. According to Desai, a former private equity investor and management consultant, 30 percent of Funding Circle’s lending business is now in the United States, happily defying his initial expectations. Germany is up next. Under their model, as explained by Business Insider, the company operates an online marketplace that lets people lend out their savings directly to small businesses at a better interest rate than that offered by banks. Funding Circle has tapped into a huge market of savers looking for better returns and small businesses seeking a quick loan. Desai started it all with one idea: to revolutionize the outdated banking system and secure a better deal for everyone. Today, with loans to small businesses in the U.K., U.S.A., Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, Desai has made Funding Circle one of the best lending platforms in the world.


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