iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing small business lenders, has raised an additional £50 million in a debt facility provided by a syndicate of banks.
The debt increase was led by NIBC Bank. Existing lenders in this syndicate, Shawbrook Bank and Pollen Street Capital, through one of its credit funds, also participated.
iwoca will use this facility to provide financing to micro and small business customers. This increase comes at a time when the overall value of debt products provided by banks for small businesses is contracting. According to UK Finance, the value of loan facilities approved each quarter by high street banks for businesses with less than £2 million in annual turnover fell by 52.3% between Q1 2012 and Q4 2017, while the total number of VAT registered firms has increased by 23% to 2.7 million over the same period.
Since its launch iwoca has originated more than £400 million in critical loans to close to 20,000 small businesses in c.50,000 transactions.
Michael Elalouf, CFO of iwoca, said: “This new debt facility provides iwoca with more fuel to provide critical finance to the micro and small businesses that are chronically underserved by the banks. Our mission is to break down barriers that stand between small business and finance. We are proud to have provided funding to 20,000 small businesses already but we’re only scratching the surface and hope to be able to reach many more.”
Karan Burman, Associate Director at Shawbrook Bank, said: “At Shawbrook we recognised the value of the iwoca proposition in the alternative finance space, particularly its potential in supporting under-served micro and small businesses across the UK. So, at Shawbrook we were very happy to provide iwoca with their first institutional funding line back in 2016, and to extend this support now as the business continues to grow.”
Michael Katramados, Head of Structured Lending at Pollen Street Capital, said: “We at Pollen Street Capital are business partners as well as capital providers. Our partnership with iwoca epitomises our aim to work with high-quality specialist businesses. We look forward to continuing working with iwoca to help them deliver long-term success and transformational growth.”
Nils Schaffner, Director at NIBC Bank, said: “At NIBC, our ambition is to make a difference for our clients; we seek to be entrepreneurial, inventive and professional. By providing iwoca with additional financing, we are proud to have supported the company in order to take the next step on their growth path in a decisive moment. We are confident that this supports the company in its ambition to become a European market leader.”