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.
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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