The venture capital arm of Germany's CommerzBank has joined in a $20m funding round for UK-based SME lending platform iwoca.
The $20m series B round, which also included participation from Acton Capital Partners and Redline Capital, will support the fast-growing credit provider's European growth.
Iwoca's tech-driven platform draws on thousands of data points to make fast credit decisions for instant lending. This investment round will allow $150m of additional loans across Europe.
The alternative finance market in Europe and the UK is expected to grow beyond $7bn in 2015, up from $2.5bn in 2014, according to Moving Mainstream, with a host of new startups like iwoca leading the charge.
Iwoca, founded in 2012 by former Goldman Sachs' executive Christoph Rieche was one of several UK fintech companies to travel with Prime Minister, David Cameron on his tour of Asia this week. Today David Cameron backed a fintech manifesto to boost the UK's prominence in the industry.
Patrick Meisberger, managing director, CommerzVentures, says, “Digital disruption is transforming the banking landscape. We respond to these changes by investing in players who offer visionary and game changing solutions. Iwoca’s cutting-edge technology provides a scalable way to understand and lend to small businesses, and is therefore a very attractive business model. With its impressive track record, we are convinced the company is set to show extraordinary growth.”
Commerzbank joined the growing ranks of financial services firms with their own fintech-focused VC arms last year. The CommerzVentures fund - which is focused on firms in the market maturity phase, while a separate incubator focuses on seed stage startups - made its first investment in April of this year, pumping $12 million into social trading network eToro.