Funding Circle, the UK’s biggest online loan provider, plans to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, the latest test for Europe’s maturing fintech sector. The eight-year-old company plans to generate gross proceeds of about £300m from the IPO, while existing shareholders will also sell stock. Funding Circle may sell at least 25pc of the company, valuing the firm at about $2bn, people familiar with the matter said last month. Funding Circle announced the plan on Monday. Founded in a London pub by chief executive Officer Samir Desai and two friends from Oxford University as an alternative to banks, Funding Circle initially grew as a so-called peer-to-peer lender that matched retail investors and small companies on its website. Increasingly, it’s turned to institutional investors as well as government development agencies like the European Investment Fund for funding. The company’s loan volume in the UK has jumped 171pc since British voters chose to quit the European Union in a referendum in June 2016.