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Fintech startup, Initiative Ireland, led by Padraig Rushe jr., targets personal P2P lending with EIIS issuance to raise €2m Back
October 27th 2016: Initiative Ireland, Ireland’s first Personal Peer-to-Peer Business, has announced an EIIS* Issuance to raise €2m in investment, creating 25 jobs and supporting the launch of a lending platform across Ireland in 2017, enabling them to "connect everyday people, empowering them to borrow and lend money direct to each other, at a fair, risk-based price".
Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor, today welcomed the announcement from Initiative Ireland that it will create 25 new jobs in the coming years. The news comes as the company prepares to raise €2m in investment, under the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme, supporting the launch of their new Personal Lending Platform across Ireland. Scheduled for launch in 2017, Initiative Ireland will connect everyday people, empowering them to borrow and lend money direct to each other, at a fair, risk-based price.

Initiative Ireland plans to achieve the creation of 25 new jobs over the next 3 years. These roles will include a mixture of experienced specialist roles and some graduate opportunities, supporting the company’s Irish and European sales targets, as they seek to transform Personal Lending through their innovative lending platform.

Initiative Ireland
Once launched, the Initiative Ireland platform will enable everyday consumers to borrow and lend money to each other using its online lending platform. Initiative Ireland will perform credit assessments, apply credit scores to applications and facilitate the funding of each loan by multiple lenders, managing all approved loans thereafter. Using risk-based pricing models, Initiative Ireland will offer favorable pricing to approved borrowers, with the best rates offered to those applicants who secure the best credit-scores. In this way, the platform has been designed to attract and approve high quality loans on behalf of its personal lenders, balancing risks with rewards.

Minister Mitchell O'Connor said, “Supporting innovative High Potential startups is a key part of the Government Action Plan for Jobs. Initiative Ireland are working to bring impactful innovations to the market at home and abroad. I welcome Initiative Ireland’s peer-to-peer lending platform which will create 25 jobs and I wish the team the very best for a successful future.

Founded in 2015, Initiative Ireland has already been recognized by Enterprise Ireland, as a High Potential Start Up, receiving support from the State Agency. In Sept 2016, the company was also recognized by the MetLife Foundation at this year’s Inclusion Plus Awards, for their innovative lending model, which promotes financial inclusion for lenders and borrowers alike. The company is currently working to secure regulatory approval, aiming to launch Ireland’s first regulated Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform by May 2017.

Padraig W Rushe, CEO and Co-Founder of Initiative Ireland said, “At Initiative Ireland, we‘re excited about creating a consumer finance industry that is honest, fair and inclusive. That’s why we’re combining business and technology innovations which have worked well in other markets, to create something sustainable and tailored to the Irish Market. We believe we can make a positive difference to people’s lives, by giving them better options when it comes to borrowing money or putting their own money to work. It’s with thanks to Enterprise Ireland and schemes like the Employment Investment Incentive Scheme that companies like us are able to compete and deliver innovations to the market.”

Padraig W. Rushe, BA, MBA - CEO
As CEO, Padraig W. Rushe has 10 years of experience in Consumer Finance and 5 years in Start-Ups. Rushe has worked as a Senior Product Manager in Ulster Bank, in addition to holding roles in Operations and Risk Management. He has also held other consumer finance roles in GE Money and Bank of Ireland. Prior to founding Initiative Ireland, Rushe was Chief Commercial Officer of Neuromod Devices. During his tenure, Neuromod successfully secured market approval for their innovative medical device, launched their debut product in Ireland, secured Pan-European Distribution and opened their own flagship treatment clinic in the Hermitage Medical Clinic. In Dec 2014, the company was awarded ‘Emerging Company of the Year’ by the IMDA, Enterprise Ireland and IDA. By late 2015, Neuromod had successfully completed three rounds of investment including €5.5m Series A. Graduating from Trinity College Dublin, Rushe earned his MBA (with distinction) in 2013. He also holds a BA Honours from University College Dublin in addition to further industry qualifications.

The company is co-founded by Padraig W Rushe and Padraig M Rushe, former Director of Corporate Banking at Bank of Ireland for over 15 years where he had responsibility for several industries and business sectors including Financial Services/IFSC. He currently serves as Chairman of the International Finance Forum at FSI/Ibec.

Padraig M. Rushe, MBA - CDO
As Chief Development Officer, Padraig Michael Rushe brings over forty years of Corporate Banking experience to Initiative Ireland. A highly respected figure within the International Finance Community, Rushe is responsible for the development and management of the Initiative Ireland Institutional lender portfolio. Prior to joining the company, Rushe was Director of Corporate Banking at Bank of Ireland for over 15 years where he had responsibility for several industries and business sectors including Financial Services/IFSC. Rushe is the current Chairman of the International Finance Forum at FSI/Ibec. He was previously a member of the Government’s Clearing House Group for the IFSC. He is an active member of the Institute of Directors and past President of the German Irish Chamber of Industry. Rushe is chairman of the Dublin IFSC Inner City Trust and board member of a number of Private Companies. He is an experienced non-executive director. He has also provided training and advisory services to start up SMEs and Government Agencies in Ireland and Overseas. Rushe graduated Valedictorian with an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Illinois in 1988.

*The EIIS scheme
The Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) is a tax relief incentive scheme which provides for tax relief of up to 40% in respect of investments made in certain corporate trades. The EII scheme allows an individual investor to obtain income tax relief on investments for shares in certain companies up to a maximum of €150,000 per annum in each tax year up to 2020. Initially relief is allowed on thirty fortieths [30/40] of the EII investment in the year the investment is made. Potentially, this can result in a tax saving for the investor of up to 30% of the investment. The EII scheme is available to unquoted micro, small and medium sized trading companies. However, certain activities are excluded. A qualifying company can raise a lifetime maximum of €15,000,000 risk finance using this incentive, which may not otherwise be able to be raised. The tax relief is provided to assist companies to raise finance to allow them to expand and create or retain jobs. In order to qualify for tax relief an investment, the company and investor must meet the qualifying criteria for the scheme. Prior to investment, companies may seek outline approval to confirm eligibility with the Revenue Commission. Initiative Ireland has secured such approval. It is noted by revenue however that final approval is only granted at the time of claim being made by the Company on behalf of investors i.e. after final investment.
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