UK SME lender Ezbob raises $21m from Russian PE firm
Small business online lender Ezbob has raised £15 million ($21 million) in new funding, courtesy of an investment from Moscow-based PE firm Da Vinci Capital Management, reports David Penn at Finovate (FinTech Futures’ sister company).
The funding puts the company’s total capital at more than £103 million ($146 million).
Founded in 2011, UK-based Ezbob provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with up to £120,000 in financing in minutes. There are no pre-payment penalties, and borrowers are offered a flexible repayment schedule of up to 24 months and an APR as low as 18%.
What will Ezbob do with the additional financing? Some clues hinted at in a Forbes interview with Ezbob co-founder and CEO Tomer Guriel from last summer suggest that new products (“such as a consumer lending platform and a mortgage platform”) may be in the offering. The idea is to model any new lending product after the company’s current SME lending platform.
So it was no surprise that when asked by interviewer Omri Barzilay what Ezbob’s advantage is in the SME lending space, Guriel answered “technology” and discussed the company’s commitment to improving the customer experience. But he segued quickly to the “fin” part of “fintech,” adding that: “Our advantage is that we are solely focused on digital lending solutions. We live and breathe the lending space. Lending is at the heart of the bank’s business and our experience in lending has given us phenomenal insight into what works for a customer and from a lender perspective.”
In November, UK-based Yorkshire Bank said that it would deploy technology from Ezbob to speed the loan application process from two weeks to less than 24 hours. Back in August, the company announced that it would extend its contract with AU10TIX for ID authentication and automating customer onboarding. NatWest has also used Ezbob’s technology to launch its automated lending platform, Esme.