Small business lender Iwoca raises £5m investment

UK growth and European expansion planned following Global Founders Capital-led backing

Small business lender Iwoca today announced it has raised £5m funding from leading European investors, set to fund an aggressive period of expansion for the company.

Founded in March 2012 by Christoph Rieche and James Dear, Startups 100-listed Iwoca specialises in providing short-term finance to small businesses selling online.

Uniquely amongst lenders, Iwoca takes into account metrics such as user feedback score and online sales performance when assessing credit score, which it claims allows small e-commerce retailers without substantial assets to obtain finance they would find it difficult to raise elsewhere.

The business has grown rapidly since its launch, generating £75,000 revenues in its first year of trading which rose to an estimated £1m in 2013.

The current £5m equity and debt funding round was led by Samwer brothers-founded private investment fund Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Luxembourg asset management company Redline Capital Management, with additional input from existing investors.

It will be used to scale up Iwoca’s operations in the UK, lending to a further 5,000 small businesses this year, and lay the foundations for European and international expansion.

Christoph Riece, co-founder and chief executive of Iwoca, commented: “We are still at the beginning of our journey, there are more than 4.6 million businesses in the UK and ecommerce is experiencing double digit growth.

“This latest round of funding will allow us to leverage our existing operations and drive growth. Our highly innovative approach to data-analysis and credit scoring coupled with Oliver Samwer’s experience in franchise building puts us in an incredibly strong position to take advantage of the structural change within the business lending industry.”

Fabian Siegel, partner at Global Founders Capital, added: “We invest in proven concepts with huge market potential. The team at iwoca has demonstrated extraordinary execution skills and are committed to breaking new ground in business lending.

“We will put our expertise in building internet companies and our global network at their disposal to help them drive growth.”

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