Fintech lender iwoca raises GBP 46m in debt and equity
iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing SME lenders, has closed a £21m Series C equity financing round led by Prime Ventures, the specialist growth capital firm dedicated to investing in technology. This new round brings iwoca’s total equity funding to £38m.
All series A and B investors participated in the round including Acton Capital Partners, CommerzVentures, Global Founder Capital, Rocket Internet and Redline Capital. In parallel iwoca also raised a £25 million secured debt facility via a syndicate led by Shawbrook Bank which increases its available debt facilities to £40 million.
The investment will be used to further develop iwoca’s proprietary technology and data platform, scale its UK and continental European operations and launch new partnerships, further cementing its position as the lender of choice for SMEs across Europe.
Christoph Rieche, co-founder and CEO of iwoca, said, “It’s been an incredible journey over the last five years but we are still at the very beginning. We’ve already been able to support 7,000 small businesses but we aim to finance at least a million customers over the next decade. This investment gives us the firepower we need to achieve our mission. We are very excited to welcome Prime Ventures to our world-class investor group and embark on our next phase of growth. Given that iwoca is both a technology company and a finance provider, we are very fortunate to have an investor base with experience that covers both areas."
Alternative lenders now represent a crucial lever for economic growth as traditional banks struggle to meet the small business funding gap. Having lent over £150 million across 18,000 transactions since launch in 2012, iwoca is one of the fastest growing business credit providers in Europe. iwoca has now supported 7,000 businesses across the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany. iwoca’s active markets cover over 50% of EU GDP and are home to 20 million businesses with less than 10 employees. SMEs across Europe are chronically underserved by traditional lenders, with 63% lacking finance from their banks (SME Finance Monitor: BDRC Continental, March 2016).
As part of the investment round Sake Bosch, Managing Partner at Prime Ventures, will be joining the board as a non-executive director. Sake Bosch said: “iwoca has developed a remarkably sophisticated approach to lending. Its technology platform and strong European reach is redefining small business finance. We invest in growing firms with the objective of making leaders out of them. iwoca has tremendous potential to overtake traditional banking models and scale up to become the European market leader.”