Digital micro-lender, Oakam today announced that it has secured a £35 million debt investment from Victory Park Capital Advisors, LLC (VPC), an investment firm focused on private middle market debt and equity investments.
To date Oakam has disbursed £320 million to help financially excluded consumers gain access to credit. The funds raised will enable Oakam to accelerate its lending activity in the UK by more than 180 percent year on year and continue to disrupt the global micro-lending industry.
“Consumer credit has long been broken for those at the bottom. With 12 million financially excluded consumers in the UK alone, there is a significant opportunity for Oakam to fill the large unmet need for better, more accessible and affordable credit,” said Frederic Nze, CEO and Founder, Oakam. “Our new partnership with VPC will enable us to further fulfil our mission of transforming and empowering lives through a fair and inclusive service.”
Oakam is providing a vital service to underserved communities who otherwise struggle to access the funds they need to manage immediate financial obligations and improve long-term financial health. Despite growing digital disruption in financial services, dominant players in the micro-lending sector have been slower to innovate. Oakam is primed to win market share from incumbents in the UK and abroad with its digital-first model that captures the potential of smartphone technology to enhance the customer experience, drive operational efficiency, and better predict and manage risk in micro-lending.
Its digital-first approach and use of alternative data in its underwriting process has enabled Oakam to evaluate more applicants at a lower cost than traditional doorstep lenders. The company has built a strong track record of growth in the last decade since its launch in 2006, and its loan application levels have grown by 300 percent in 2017 to date. The new facility from VPC will enable Oakam to continue capturing this rising demand nationally and abroad, at a time when traditional models such as doorstep lending are facing mounting operational hurdles.
“Oakam’s model in micro-finance that captures the value of a digital approach without overlooking the role of human interaction has enabled the team to break into a highly competitive market,” said Gordon Watson, Partner, Victory Park Capital. “Our investment follows a long-standing track record at VPC of supporting fintech companies scale and provide financing where traditional means fall short. We look forward to supporting Oakam’s continued growth.”
Financial Technology Partners served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Oakam on this transaction.
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