Linked Finance, Ireland’s leading peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, has secured backing from Portugal’s fastest growing digital bank, Banco BNI Europa, who will deploy up to €50m over a 2-year period, to lend to Irish SMEs.
Banco BNI Europa is a digital bank and alternative lending investor that has partnered with alternative lending platforms across Europe since 2016. These include leading P2P lending platforms in Germany, Belgium and Finland.
As part of a wider strategy to identify the best P2P lending platforms in key European markets, Banco BNI Europa will deploy its capital alongside Linked Finance’s existing lenders. Linked Finance, connects Irish SMEs who need loans with an online lending community of more than 19,000 users.
That community is made up predominantly of ordinary Irish people who wish to earn attractive returns lending to creditworthy local businesses. Banco BNI Europa, is one of a growing number of institutional investors who are recognizing the potential of FinTech operators like Linked Finance.
The agreement will further boost liquidity on Linked Finance, which has already provided more than 1,400 loans to Irish SMEs. The company has demonstrated an impressive growth trajectory since its establishment in 2013, lending over €59m to date while recording its strongest quarter in Q1 2018.
Commenting on the news, Niall Dorrian Chief Executive Officer of Linked Finance, said:
“Banco BNI Europa’s decision to deploy capital on the Linked Finance platform is great news for Irish SMEs. It is yet more evidence of how the world is changing and through technology Linked Finance is making it easier for SME’s to borrow money. This arrangement with Banco BNI Europa will allow us to immediately increase lending to local businesses. It complements the funding available from our existing users – ordinary members of the Irish public – who will continue to play a crucial role in helping us to fulfil our mission of providing fast and affordable finance for Ireland’s SME sector.”
Pedro Coelho, Executive Chairman Banco BNI Europa, said:
“As a FinTech-driven bank, a partnership with Linked Finance is a natural fit for our business, supporting our strategy of growth and diversification within our European portfolio. 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.”
Linked Finance recently celebrated its 5th anniversary hitting the milestone of having lent over €50m to Irish SMEs since its launch in 2013. Notable companies that have raised funding with Linked Finance include Viking Splash Tours, The Rolling Donut, Big Red Cloud, Lolly & Cooks, Murphy’s Ice Cream, Iconic Offices and the Irish Fairy Door Company.