An SME lender has raised $25 million in equity to fund the ‘rapid expansion’ of its Australian and European operations.
Credit Suisse-backed SME lending fintech Tradeplus24 has closed a $25-million pre-series B equity raise.
The SME lender was originally looking at closing a $15-million round in order to scale its presence in Australia and Europe, which includes launching into the UK and the Netherlands later this year, and looking at “strategic acquisitions” later in 2021.
However, it said that “significant investor confidence in its ability to scale into multiple international markets and achieve rapid growth” prompted it to raise the round to $25 million.
The raise, which was completed in six weeks, was backed by existing investors Credit Suisse, SIX Group, and Berliner Volksbank.
The group said the capital injection complements over $200 million in total debt facilities secured across the group, which it plans to increase to $400 million by the end of 2021.
The managing director of Tradeplus24 Australia, Adam Lane, commented: “There is nowhere in the world where the issues around efficient access to working capital for SMEs have been adequately addressed at scale
“This is especially true when it comes to loan amounts ranging between $500,00 to $10 million.
“So, the enormous demand for our unique tech-enabled line of credit solution is unsurprising – particularly as the world still comes to terms with the new business landscape created in the wake of the pandemic.”
Expanding the Australian business
Mr Lane highlighted that the group had been investing heavily in its Australian business, which was launched in 2019, including by doubling the size of its team over the past four months and creating “bespoke” technology solutions that are “focused on leveraging data to manage risk more effectively” and make it easier for customers.
He explained: “It’s a widely known fact that incumbents in the invoice finance sector suffer from legacy systems, slow and manual processes, and an acute lack of innovation which forces their customers to waste countless hours on unnecessary and frustrating administration.
“We are determined to provide an alternative that offers much-needed support to growing Aussie businesses, whose growth prospects will be massively amplified through greater access to capital via the simple and user-friendly solution Tradeplus24 provides,” he concluded.
According to the fintech, its Australian business trebled customer numbers in Q2 2021, spurred by an improving economy and “positive customer response to products”.
Will Farrant, the managing director at Credit Suisse Australia, added: “Following the group’s equity investment in Tradeplus24, the Credit Suisse debt capital markets team in Australia have stayed close to the local Tradeplus24 team, and we are optimistic in our ability to support them with a debt facility in the coming months as they continue to scale the business.”
Tradeplus24 said it was expecting to open a series B in early 2022, where it will “consider admitting a strategic local Australian investor” to complement its existing backers.
[Related: Alternative lender joins AFG panel]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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