New small business lender Spotcap will use a €31.5 million ($48.5 million) debt and equity injection from private equity house Finstar Financial Group to expand operations in Australia, Spain and The Netherlands and into new markets.
The deal is the biggest of three fund raisings it has made in the past 18 months, including €13 million from German fund Rocket Internet, Access Industries and Holtzbrinck Ventures and €5 million in debt capital from Kreos Capital, which was used to fund loans.
Spotcap, headquartered in Berlin, said the money will be used to grow its operations in Australia, Spain and The Netherlands and to expand its operations into other countries.
Spotcap Australia managing director, Lachlan Heussler, said he could not disclose what share Finstar will take in Spotcap or how much would be allocated to equity, lending or the Australian market.
But he said he is in talks with all the major banks and expects to announce a big partnership with one of them in the near future and he said Australia will be a major contributor to its earnings.
“There is no hard and fast rule as to how the money gets allocated. Resources will be allocated to the Australian business to continue what we have been doing,” he said.
The business has grown to 10 staff in Australia out of 80 globally since Mr Heussler started the business here in the middle of 2015.
Growing team in Australia
He also won’t reveal how much Spotcap has loaned here. Rivals have said they have not seen much evidence of Spotcap lending, but this money should mean it is more visible.
“We have a growing team in Australia and some of this money that has been injected will be used to grow the Australian operations. Every month we’re seeing large growth [and] it has beat our expectations. January was a record month for the Spotcap Australia business which really surprised us given the [holiday period],” he said.
Nicholas Jordan, Finstar chief executive, said: “Finstar is pleased to be working in partnership with multinational online MSME lender Spotcap. By acquiring a stake in Spotcap, we are strengthening our position in the digital financial services sector and increasing our reach to new territories. As its shareholder and major strategic partner, Finstar will intensify efforts to further develop Spotcap’s innovative online lending platform and facilitate its global expansion into high-yielding markets.”
“Finstar’s substantial expertise and valuable relationships in the fintech industry will enable Spotcap to fast-track its growth,” said Toby Triebel, CEO and co-founder of Spotcap.
Mr Heussler said he would be central to expansion outside Australia, which the extra money from Finstar will allow.
“We have ambitions to be a global leader in online lending and this new money will allow us to accelerate our expansion strategy,” he said.
“Australia is the base of operations for the Asia Pacific and we do have a business plan that involves rolling out to other countries.”
Spotcap offers a free line of credit of between $1000 and $250,000 dollars for up to three months.
When a business begins drawing on it, Spotcap charges an upfront fee and then 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent per month. On an annual basis that is 12 per cent to 18 per cent. But rates could be higher or lower, depending on Spotcap’s risk assessment.