Intesa Sanpaolo has made an undisclosed investment in SME lending platform iwoca.
Launched in 2012 to fill the SME funding gap left by incumbent banks, iwoca has since lent over £200 million across 28,000 transactions, supportingover 10,000 businesses across the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany.
Co-founded by former Goldman Sachs' executive Christoph Rieche and Deutsche Bank alumni James Dear, the company's tech-driven platform draws on thousands of data points to make fast credit decisions for instant lending.
Intesa's investment in iwoca was made by Neva Finventures, Intesa Sanpaolo’s fintech venture capital arm. It follows a $21 million Series C round last year, in which Germany's Commerzbank participated.
Maurizio Montagnese, chief innovation officer at Intesa Sanpaolo says: "Investing in iwoca is of strategic importance to us in that it strengthens the Intesa Sanpaolo Group's position in the area of new business models, and specifically in highly innovative digital financial services. The industrial synergies between iwoca and Intesa Sanpaolo could be significant in the coming years and allow the Intesa Sanpaolo Group to enter segments of the market not served by other banks."