Baltic property lending platform Estateguru* has just launched a round on Seedrs* to raise up to 2 million EUR in new funding at a pre-money valuation of 28.8M EUR . Estateguru was launched in Estonia 6 years ago and has since expanded into the Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish, Portugeese and German markets. Using the platform 47,000 investors have funded over 1,400 loans with a volume of 202 million EUR for an average return of 11.8% (as per Estateguru statistics page). All loans are secured by mortgages. Estateguru says that so far all recoveries of defaults have returned 100% of the capital and just the length of discovery varied sometimes taking months, sometimes taking years.
Estateguru plans to use the raised capital to further develop the product, especially improving features for institutional investors. Estateguru* can build on the experiences it made in a two-year relationship with German Varengold bank which has provided a credit line to finance loans. A second goal is to expand into further markets. In a recent investor webinar CEO Marek Pärtel named UK as a potential market, stating Estateguru already holds the required licenses since last year. Furthermore Estateguru will implement integration with payment provider Lemonway.
Pärtel said in the webinar that Estateguru has doubled in size every year in the past and expects the fast growth to continue in the future.
Baltic property p2p lending marketplace Estateguru* announced, that it has raised a 1.3M EUR round led by Speedinvest f. Speedinvest f is a focus fund launched by Speedinvest, targeting Fintech investments across Europe. Speedinvest will support EstateGuru in its geographic expansion across Europe.
Marek Pärtel, founder and CEO of EstateGuru, outlines the company’s mission to become the largest pan-European real estate financing marketplace: ‘Today, EstateGuru has become the largest platform in mainland Europe, showing an average annual growth rate of 100%. Simultaneously, we have discovered excellent opportunities to further increase our market coverage and it is for this purpose that we have drafted a clear technological development plan that requires a strong partner in order to be implemented successfully.’
Christopher Zemina, Investment Manager at Speedinvest, explains the background of the investment: ‘EstateGuru is the story of a small team that has achieved extraordinary growth without much external funding. The team has executed their plans and constantly outperformed our expectations. We are determined to support the company in its next stage of growth.’
LendingCrowd has secured an external funding round of 2 million GBP following a strong 2017 for the p2p lending company, with the proceeds earmarked for ramping up its sales and marketing activities.
The round was led by angel syndicate Equity Gap and included a number of private investors from Scotland’s entrepreneurial and finance scene, and the Scottish Investment Bank. The company says it is on track to scale significantly during 2018 and intends to seek Series A funding over the next 12 months.
As part of its drive to build market position, LendingCrowd this month launched its debut television advert, designed to bring the opportunities available through P2P lending to a wider audience. The advert features Geoff, who decided to “Think Outside The Bank” and invest with the platform after becoming disillusioned with the low rates of return on other investments.
LendingCrowd has originated loan deals totalling 16 million to SMEs across Britain in the past 12 months period. For 2018, CEO and co-founder Stuart Lunn has set a target to more than double loan deals to around 40 million GBP. New clients in 2017 included Summerhall Distillery, producer of award-winning spirits brand Pickering’s Gin, restaurant chain Tony Macaroni and property lettings agency Umega Lettings.
Investor funds on the platform have grown rapidly, with much of the expansion attributed to the launch of one of the first Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) products in February 2017. After a full 12 months of opening the LendingCrowd Growth ISA, 82% of investors have beaten the advertised 6% target return.
LendingCrowd, which is fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, has over 4,500 investors signed up to its platform and is on track to significantly increase investor numbers this year. It now offers three IFISA products – the passive Growth ISA and Income ISA, and the active Self-Select ISA.
Stuart Lunn, LendingCrowd CEO and co-founder, said: “Having laid solid foundations for the business over the last couple of years, we now have a position in the market that is starting to pay dividends. We have a strong pipeline of both investors and SME demand and with such a strong trajectory, we are now actively speaking to the venture capital and private equity communities about our next phase of growth.”
Jock Millican from Equity Gap said: “We are extremely pleased that our syndicate members once again backed LendingCrowd, with this raise being the largest single investment by Equity Gap to date. Existing and new investors in LendingCrowd recognise the progress to date and the potential for the business to scale.”
Kerry Sharp, Director of the Scottish Investment Bank, commented: “We are delighted to provide continued support to LendingCrowd who have demonstrated real market traction with their innovative peer-to-peer lending platform in Scotland.”
Bitcoin based SME marketplace lender Bitbond has received a commitment from Obotritia Capital to fund loans worth 5 million Euro through its platform. Additionally, Obotritia invested an undisclosed amount of equity to acquire a stake in Bitbond.
With the debt commitment, SME loans from European prime borrowers will be funded instantaneously on Bitbond. This will reduce the time it takes for business owners to apply and receive a loan to 30 minutes.
The equity investment from Potsdam based Obitritia will be used by Bitbond for further product development and marketing. Bitbond plans to continue growing its user base with online sellers and small businesses who need working capital financing.
Over 1,700 loans worth 1.4 million Euro were originated through Bitbond since its launch in 2013. 90,000 users from 120 countries registered with the service to date.
Founder & CEO of Bitbond Radoslav Albrecht said: ‘The debt commitment by Obotritia brings Bitbond to the next level in our efforts to provide universal SME financing. The next step is to work with partners. Such partners could be online marketplaces who want to add value to their platforms by giving their merchants access to instant cash through Bitbond.’ Continue reading →
SME lending platform Bitbond today announced the closing of an equity funding round of 1.1 million EUR. This round brings Bitbond’s raised equity capital to a total of 2.2 million EUR.
Led by mobilike founder Şekip Can Gökalp, a number of business angels contributed to the round. Among them were Fyber founders Janis Zech and Andreas Bodczek as well as Kreditech co-founder & CEO Alexander Graubner-Müller.
Bitbond will use the additional funds for further product development and to grow its user base in markets which are underserved by traditional lenders. Over 1,600 loans worth 1.2 million USD were originated on Bitbond since its launch. 76,000 users from 120 countries registered with the service to date.
Founder & CEO of Bitbond Radoslav Albrecht said: “The additional resources will help us to continue realizing our mission which is to make lending and borrowing globally accessible. We are happy to have such experienced investors supporting us on this exciting journey.” Albrecht contributed a guest article on bitcoin p2p lending in the past on P2P-Banking.
In October 2016 Bitbond received their own regulatory licence by German financial services supervisor BaFin. This makes the service one of the first and only regulated blockchain based financial services providers.
The startup from Berlin connects investors who look for above average fixed-income investment opportunities with small business owners who need a loan. To make global cross-border lending possible, the platform uses the bitcoin blockchain for payment processing. Continue reading →
Dutch insurance company Aegon, international provider of life insurance, pensions and asset management, intensifies relationship with leading German p2p lending marketplace Auxmoney. Aegon plans to invest 1.5 bilion (!) Euro into p2p consumer loans issued by Auxmoney within the next 3 years. This is a stunning amount for institutional investments in the European p2p lending sector.
Aegon also leads the new 15 million Euro Series E funding round for Auxmoney. This financing round is being topped up by existing shareholders of Auxmoney.
Aegon the Netherlands, Eric Rutten, who will join the board of auxmoney, comments: “With innovations along the entire value chain of credit and its highly sophisticated and techdriven methods of risk assessments and scoring, auxmoney is another strong case for Aegon to drive innovations in the financial industry for the benefit of society.”
Raffael Johnen, CEO and co-founder of auxmoney, says: “This investment is a strong signal for the entire FinTech industry in Europe and beyond. Through our efforts to provide capital to millions more people, we have emphatically made the case for a more inclusive financial system. Auxmoney is an impactful and sustainable FinTech leader in Europe, and we will continue to make a difference in the banking and finance landscape.”
Johnen continues: “Aegon’s funding commitment will enable auxmoney to onboard banks that are looking to expand and improve their loan offerings to clients through auxmoney’s marketplace. We are looking forward to supporting more bank partners in serving their clients even better.“ Johnen adds: “When we first launched auxmoney, our vision was to empower customers who had no access to credit products. Today’s funding commitment from Aegon will enable us to expand our offerings of highly competitive all-digital loans at all levels of the credit spectrum.”
The partnership between Aegon and Auxmoney started in 2015. Auxmoney management