Online pawn broker Borro raises £7.5m led by Augmentum Capital

Online pawn broker Borro has raised £7.5m in a round led by Augmentum Capital, the growth capital fund launched by Tim Levene and Richard Mathews.

Existing investors Eden Ventures and Rockridge Investments have also participated, while the new investment will be used by Borro to “aggressively drive new customer acquisition” and raise awareness of the company’s offering. The company is also backed by The European Founders Fund.

Borro, founded by former Movota founder and Managing Director Paul Aitken in 2008, operates in the UK and offers short term loans of £100 to £1,000,000 against assets of value including jewellery, luxury watches, fine art, antiques, sculptures, luxury cars, light aircraft and other high value items. Goods are valued by a team of “experts” who a have a background in leading auctioneers and salesrooms including Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Christies. It claims to compete aggressively against pawn brokers in the high street, offering on average twice as much for items.

It’s another example, I guess, of an old industry being made more efficient and potentially being disrupted by moving online. Although in this case, given the amount of manual intervention, it’s no eBay.

On that note, Levene, Managing Partner of Augmentum Capital, talks up Borro’s disruption credentials: “This old fashioned industry has been slow to adapt to new technologies and the internet. is a great example of a company that is breaking down historical barriers with a dynamic platform, talented team and fresh approach”, he says.