P2P lending platform Linked Finance has secured €50m in a funding round from Banco BNI Europa.
The new deal will see the Portuguese bank deploy the capital over a two-year period, with the aim to support lending to Irish SMEs. These funds will be deployed into loans alongside existing investors on the Linked Finance platform.
Linked Finance is a P2P lending platform that helps small Irish companies to access loans from between €5,000 up to €250,000. Loans are taken out on 36 month terms and with an APR of 8.5 per cent. The platform has helped to facilitate over 1,400 loans to Irish SMEs and has injected a total of €59m to companies since its foundation in 2013.
Its community of investors is mainly made up of members of the Irish public that wish to invest in local businesses. Organisations like Banco BNI are part of a growing interest in the platform from institutional investors, according to the company.
Through this partnership, Linked Finance CEO Niall Dorrian believes this will provide the company with instant access to an increased lending capability for local businesses, while also ‘complementing the funding available from our existing users’.
Banco BNI Europa executive chairman Pedro Coelho said, “Over the past years, we have successfully built a network of strategic partnerships with fast-moving FinTech companies across Europe. Ireland is a market we have been keen to enter and, as the leading P2P lending platform here, Linked Finance is the obvious partner. We are very excited about the potential of this relationship.”
Earlier in the month, Enterprise Ireland launched a €750,000 fund to invest into FinTech startups within the country. The fund will focus on PropTech, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things, blockchain and cloud.
Fellow Ireland-based P2P mobile lending platform Flender raised a £350,000 investment from Enterprise Ireland in April. The company is currently in the process of raising £2m and has so far pulled in up to £1.3m.
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