London fintech start-up iwoca launches in Spain to meet demand for small business financing

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Venture-backed fintech start-up iwoca has started offering credit to the two million small businesses in Spain, further expanding its international reach.

iwoca is transforming business lending throughout Europe by offering fast and flexible access to credit to the millions of small businesses neglected by the banks. Customers apply online, submitting their trading data through integrations with high-street banks, payment processors, ecommerce platforms and sector-specific providers. This feeds into a proprietary risk engine along with data-points from dozens of external sources, allowing us to offer businesses up to £50,000 within minutes.

Since 2012, iwoca has lent almost £30 million across 5,000 transactions in the UK and Poland, so therefore the launch of iwoca Spain is further evidence of the growing global need for alternatives to traditional business finance providers.

With more than 500,000 Spanish businesses requesting credit in 2013, the market opportunity is huge; of those that didn’t apply for credit, 41 percent said this was due to short-term poor economic conditions. iwoca offers these businesses credit facilities of up to €50,000, from which they can draw down, repay and top up on demand.

iwoca has already raised more than £10M from investors including Global Founders Capital, the fund founded by the Samwer brothers, Redline Capital Management and Talis Capital. The company plans a further funding round in 2015 as it seeks to cement its position as the fastest growing small business credit provider in Europe.

Christoph Rieche, iwoca’s CEO and co-founder, commented: “Traditional small business lending models are broken and are holding back the global economy. Access to finance for Spanish SMEs is significantly below the EU average, so it was the natural market for our latest launch. With hundreds of businesses having already expressed interest in iwoca Spain, it looks set to mirror the success of our Polish operations, which launched in February 2014 and grew even faster than the UK business.”

Christoph adds: “Access to finance for small businesses is a global issue and we aim to provide a majority of European small businesses with a mainstream alternative to bank loans by the end of 2015. With more than 20 million small businesses in Europe, we believe the market could quickly surpass the US in terms of loan volume.”