LONDON — Portuguese bank BNI Europa has agreed to lend £45 million ($US57.87 million) over MarketInvoice, a UK peer-to-peer lender for small businesses.
MarketInvoice announced on Monday that BNI had committed the capital following a trial last year with £28.3 million.
MarketInvoice’s online platform allows small businesses to access invoice financing, which is where companies use unpaid invoices as security for borrowing against. Lending is funded by high-net worths and institutional investors who are registered with MarketInvoice.
Pedro Coelho, BNI Europa’s executive chairman, says in a release announcing the deal: “We are proactively working with fintech businesses globally that prescribe to our vision of providing low-cost, innovative products with exceptional customer service. MarketInvoice has consistently delivered these values over the years.”
MarketInvoice recently launched a new product, Pro, that allows small businesses to access a rolling credit line and Coelho namechecks this as a reason BNI signed on. He says: “The MarketInvoice Pro service is now a further means to build on our relationship as it provides a longer-term arrangement.
“It is inevitable that banks will work more collaboratively with fintech businesses. I am firm believer of this and see much scope in the industry.”
MarketInvoice has funded more than 70,000 invoices since launch in 2011, lending £1.2 billion over its platform. CEO and cofounder Anil Stocker told Business Insider in February that it hopes to lend £900 million this year.
Stocker says in a release on Monday announcing the BNI deal: “Institutions have played a significant role in our growth story and over the past two years have consistently funded almost 60% of the working capital provided to UK businesses via MarketInvoice.
“This new commitment from BNI is further proof of our ability to provide finance to high growth businesses across the country, we’re excited by their support of our mission.”
BNI Europa was launched in 2014 and is Portugal’s fastest growing digital-only bank.
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