Paul Harmon, owner of Electric Escapes

Mayo businesses raise almost €800,000 through Linked Finance

LINKED Finance, Ireland’s leading peer-to-peer (P2P) lending company, has raised almost €800,000 for Mayo-based businesses.

Eighteen Mayo businesses, including Doherty for Men, Main Street, Castlebar, and Electric Escapes, based in Westport, have raised funds through Linked Finance’s online lending platform ( to facilitate business growth.

Electric Escapes has raised €50,000 over two separate funding rounds, facilitated through the platform.

Electric Escapes began life five years ago as a soft adventure cycling company providing tours on quality electric bikes along the Wild Atlantic Way.

The company has been acknowledged for the calibre of its tours, winning a number of awards, most recently Best Small Luxury Tour Operator 2017 at the Luxury Travel Guide European Awards.

Paul Harmon, owner of Electric Escapes, is also the sole distributor of German-built Kalkhoff e-bikes in Ireland and established LoveMyBike as an offshoot from Electric Escapes. LoveMyBike has grown from strength to strength, providing bikes and expertise to tour companies all over Ireland.

Niall Dorrian, CEO, Linked Finance, said: ‘‘The purpose of our platform is to support great Irish businesses and provide them with quick and hassle-free access to funding so they can unlock their full potential. SMEs all over Ireland are in growth mode.

“Our platform connects Irish businesses with lenders who recognise the enormous potential and want to invest in them.

“We pride ourselves on providing an alternative to traditional bank lending, the Linked Finance model is fast, efficient and transparent, allowing Irish businesses to take control of their finances and meet their objectives.

“This is a model that works, and the number of businesses who have now completed two or more loans on the platform, such as Electric Escapes, is testament to this.”

Paul Harmon, owner, Electric Escapes, said: “It was an easy decision to return to the Linked Finance platform to raise funds we needed to increase our stock levels. The process is fast, simple and efficient, our second loan of €30,000 filled in just under four and a half hours.

“Having the support of the Linked Finance community provides a real viable alternative to traditional funding and lending models, the process suited our business so well, we did it twice!”

Over the past four years, Linked Finance has helped raise over 1,100 loans for businesses all over Ireland. In County Mayo, Linked Finance has supported 18 different businesses, raising a total of €768,500 over 20 loans.

Linked Finance brings a new viable alternative to borrowing from the banks, where people with savings can connect and lend to trustworthy businesses that wish to borrow.