Funding Circle Raises 100M US$ from Accel and further VCs

Funding Circle raised 100 million US$ of equity capital in a round led by Accel Partners. The round also included other existing investors Baillie Gifford, DST Global, Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Rocket Internet, Sands Capital Ventures, Temasek and Union Square Ventures.

The company will use the funding to continue to consolidate its position, as well as to continue to invest in technology and talent.

Measured by new origination volume during the last months Funding Circle is the largest p2p lending marketplace in the UK. The company is also present in the US and in continental Europe. Last week the British Business Bank committed to lend 40 million GBP to British SMEs through Funding Circle.

Funding Circle has now raised 373 million US$ in equity capital. The previous round was a 150M US$ in 2015 round led by DST Capital.

Smava Raises 34M US$ Series C

smava-logo-2016German credit broker Smava today announced that it has closed a 34 million US$ investment which was led by growth investor Runa Capital, with additional participation from Verdane Capital and mojo.capital. Runa Capital is a venture capital firm with other investments in Zopa, Lendingrobot and Lendio. Verdane Capital is a Scandinavian private equity firm. Existing investors including Earlybird Venture Capital also participated in the investment. This series C round follows the previous round in 2015 which was 16 million US$. In total Smava, which launched in 2007, has raised about 64 million US$ so far.

Smava wants to use the funding to expand the customer base, hire additional talent and continue enhancing our scoring technology according to CEO Alexander Artopé.

Smava connects private borrowers with a broad selection of banks and private investors on its marketplace. Smava offers personal loans ranging from 1,000 to 120,000 Euros. Continue reading

P2P Lending Marketplace Afluenta Raises 8M Series B From IFC and Elevar Equity

Afluenta LogoAfluenta, headquarted in Buenos Aires, announced today the completion of its Series B funding round from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector institution of the World Bank Group, and Elevar Equity, a venture capital firm. IFC and Elevar Equity are investing 4 million US$ each.

Afluenta seeks to disrupt the traditional financial services industry, cutting out middlemen and using proprietary technology to transform the process of applying for a loan, thus facilitating access to financing. Afluenta says it offers borrowers a simple, affordable and less bureaucratic experience, while delivering better yield for individual and institutional lenders.

A pioneer in the region, Afluenta plans to use the proceeds of the Series B financing for accelerating its network expansion plan across Latin America. Launched in Argentina in 2012 and in Peru in 2015, Afluenta plans to launch new services in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil in the next 12 months to consolidate as the first pan-regional player of this new and disruptive alternative financing. Continue reading

LendInvest Raises 17M GBP Series B from Atomico

Lendinvest logoLendInvest, a UK online marketplace for property finance, has completed a 17 million GBP (25 million US$) Series B equity investment from Atomico, the technology venture capital firm founded by Niklas Zennström, the co-founder of Skype.

This is LendInvest’s second equity investment in nine months. In June 2015, LendInvest secured a 22 million GBP (33 million US$) Series A investment from Beijing Kunlun, the listed Chinese technology company.

The round takes LendInvest’s total institutional funding (debt and equity) to over 200 million GBP (285 million US$).

LendInvest was launched in 2013 by founders Christian Faes and Ian Thomas, and has lent 560 million GBP to finance 2,100 properties in the UK. The UK mortgage market – a £1.3 trillion sector  is traditionally offline, slow and generally a very poor consumer experience says LendInvest.

Today LendInvest’s technology reduces the time taken to process mortgages from months to days, while maintaining rigorous credit controls. LendInvest has also opened up mortgages as a new and attractive asset class that delivers returns of over 5% per annum for investors.

LendInvest will use this funding to accelerate its investment in technology and extend its lead in the property finance market. The company is recruiting its first Senior VP of Engineering and will expand its technology and product teams. Continue reading

Auxmoney Raises Series D from Seven Ventures

Auxmoney Logo 2016Auxmoney, one of the oldest German p2p lending marketplaces, has completed a Series D round with Seven Ventures as lead investor. The specifics were not disclosed, only that Seven Ventures along with Index Ventures, Union Square Ventures und Foundation Capital invested a double digit million Euro amount. Seven Ventures is the investment arm of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, which operates large TV channels in Germany.

Raffael Johnen, co-founder and CEO of Auxmoney stated: „The partnership with ProSiebenSat1 is an important milestone on our path to change the public awareness for p2p lending in Germany. We will make a big step towards our goal to enable access to loans for more people. The raised capital and the better access to TV advertising will help us to make p2p lending part of everyday life of millions of people.” (original quote in German; own translation)

Auxmoney trippled loan volume in 2015 compared to 2014.  As of January 31st, 2016, according to numbers on file with P2P-Banking.com, the company had originated 441 million EUR in loans since launch, with a monthly loan origination volume of 10.6M for the last month on file (January 2016).

Auxmoney management
Auxmoney management

Mintos Raises 2M from Skillion Ventures

Mintos LogoLatvian p2p lending marketplace Mintos has raised 2M EUR from VC Skillion Ventures in Riga. The p2p lending service was launched a year ago and lists loans from several loan originators. The loan types include mortgage loans, secured car loans, business loans, personal loans and invoices finance. The majority of the retail investors resides in Latvia, Germany and UK.The investors financed a cumulative loan volume of over 16M EUR since launch.

The loans are currently to borrowers in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Georgia. Mintos CEO Martins Sulte plans to add loans in the markets of the Czech Republic and Poland next. Continue reading

Investly Launches Invoice Finance for UK SMEs; Raised 600K from Speedinvest

Tallinn based p2p lending marketplace Investly, which recently launched an invoice finance product in Estonia announced the launch of the service for UK SMEs. The invoice finance option will give UK businesses almost instant access to much needed working capital to aid growth.

The launch comes after a successful European launch of the platform in Estonia 18 months ago, and a subsequent investment of 600,000 Euro from Venture Capital group, SpeedInvest.

Until now, invoice finance options – whether through traditional channels or via other peer-to-peer platforms – have been complex and laden with fees and charges.

Investly says it has simplified the product so that, once credit checks have been cleared, SMEs can sell invoices to investors within two days. And therefore assign the money to aid growth, enabling them to be the best they can possibly be without the cash flow worries. Initially, the invoice finance product will be available to any UK SME who passes the platforms sign-up criteria, which includes credit checks and confirming their identity. Further safeguards are put in place such as directors’ checks and potential guarantee.

Ruth Chamberlain, Investly’s UK Country Manager, said: “Long payment terms are crippling for UK SMEs. They are dependent on cash to sustain and grow their business, but as they invest in products and people, they may not get money on work completed a month or even 120 days after issuing their invoice. This is putting many businesses at risk – especially smaller ones and those that depend on payments from one or two key customers.” Continue reading

Crowdcube Raises 6M from Numis

Crrowcube LogoUK platform Crowdcube today announced that it has raised 6M GBP of investment to further accelerate its growth. The investment is led by Numis, a UK stockbroker and corporate advisor. Tim Draper and London-based Draper Esprit have also joined this new funding round alongside existing backers Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s largest venture firms.

The investment will enable Crowdcube to accelerate growth, continue the expansion of its team, ramp up new product development including the creation of a new solution for companies going public, and invest further in its acclaimed marketing activities.

‘We’re on a mission to help more businesses raise the finance they need to grow, create jobs and deliver returns to investors. We’ve dominated the democratisation of seed-stage equity investment since we launched in 2011 and we’re determined to do the same for larger businesses. We want to put the Public back into IPO.’ commented Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube.

This round puts the Crowdcube at 51M GBP post investment.
Continue reading

P2P Lending Service Lendico Raises 20M EUR From Rocket Internet and Other Investors

German P2P Lending Service Lendico raised 20M EUR fromLendico Logo Rocket Internet, Access Industries, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and a new investor. Lendico will use the raised capital to further develop the p2p loan and SME loan service and to invest in the marketplace technology and the team.

‘We have won another experienced strategic partner, who will join Lendico as a long term investor. Together we share the belief that in order to originate loans to consumers and businesses in future banks are no longer needed’, said Lendico CEO Dominik Steinkühler (own translation; original statement is in German language). ‘To have strong funding is an important strategic advantage in a fast growing market environment. Lendico will use the momentum and strengthen its position as a leading international marketplace lender. Together with our investors we will continue to work on breaking the predominance of banks and offer a better alternative to make loans to consumers and businesses.’ (own translation; original statement is in German language)

Oliver Samwer, CEO Rocket Internet SE stated: „We build Lendico as a digital alternative to banks, when it comes to more affordable and faster loans for businesses and consumers. In the Fintech sector we are at the begin of a development that we already experienced in E-Commerce: Incumbents are outpaced by new digital players. With Lendico we actively push ahead this process.’ (own translation; original statement is in German language)

Update: Lendico did not comment on the identity of the new investor. Unconfirmed sources say that the London hedge fund Arrowgrass Capital invested. Arrowgrass was founded in February 2008 and is already invested in Zopa.

P2P Lending Marketplace Bondora Fuels European Expansion Plans

Bondora LogoP2P lending service Bondora, headquartered in Tallinn, announced that they raised 5M US$ Series A round led by Valinor Management to fuel further expansion plans for cross-border lending in Europe. Richard Fay and Ragnar Meitern also invested. Bondora was the first p2p lending service doing cross-border lending for retail investors. Bondora is currently facilitating loans to borrowers in Estonia, Spain, Finland and Slovakia from investors in all European countries. Bondora states that investments on the marketplace have consistently yielded premium returns to investors while simultaneously delivering competitive rates to borrowers through efficiency and lower interest rate spread.

Uniting European markets under the roof of a single platform creates a huge opportunity given the size of the population in the continent and the volume of outstanding debt. Thus, Eurozone countries alone account for 340 million people and EUR 1.1 trillion in outstanding consumer credit debt, a market equivalent to US. Lending to borrowers in markets that are independently relatively small (even Germany, the largest economy in Europe is only approximately twice the size of California in terms of GDP) allows earning premium returns due to lack of competition among traditional lenders.

Pärtel Tomberg, CEO and co-founder of Bondora, said he hoped the cash infusion from Valinor Management, the hedge fund run by David Gallo, will allow his company to build the more complex infrastructure needed to make more cross-border loans. ‘The goal is really to become a global market,’ Pärtel Tomberg said in an interview. ‘There are no precedents in the world on many of the things we want to do.’

The company also wants to attract institutional lenders from the US.

A possible mid-term competitor might be Lending Club. But Lending Club said in the investor conference call on Tuesday that they will focus on the US market and will not use the capital raised in their December IPO on international expansion plans in the near future. Renauld Laplanche is however monitoring international developments in the market: ‘We’ll see what model is really the winning model in any particular geography.’ Continue reading