Here’s additional funding for a European fintech company that specializes in online lending. Germany’s Smava – a peer-to-peer lending platform where investors provide the funds to lend money to borrowers – raised $16m in funding led by Phenomen Ventures, along with existing investors Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners. Phenomen’s track record in fintech investments includes backing Prosper, the US peer-to-peer lending marketplace.
The investment brings the total raised by Smava to nearly $30 million.
Smava, like other online lending platforms, has developed a set of algorithms to screen and approve potential loan applicants. The fact that it is fully automated helps it convey low interest rates to users. To date, Smava has lent $600 million through its platform, with the number of loans increasing by 100% over the past year.
“This new capital allows us to accelerate the growth of our business as well as realize our vision of offering fully automated loans to borrowers at the best rates in the near future,” said Alexander Artopé, CEO of smava, in a press release. . “The funding will also be used to advance smava’s rating technology, hire top talent and further fuel growth.”
It will also help the company to compete with its rivals. They include Auxmoney, which is backed by Index, Union Square Ventures, Foundation Capital, among others and also raised $16 million in 2014. Others in the space include Zopa in the UK (which raised over $50 million) and Lending Club in the United States. , which went public last year.
As part of this investment, Igal Weinstein, general partner of Phenomen, joins the board of directors of Smava.