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Credit Suisse Backs Aussie Challenger Bank Judo With $250M

Australia-based challenger bank Judo Capital has raised more than $250 million from Credit Suisse Australia, according to reports.

Business Insider Australia said Monday (November 26) that Credit Suisse has provided the credit facility worth AUS$350 million to fuel Judo’s small business lending operations. The investment follows a $104 million equity funding round from Ontario Pension Trust, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, Myer Family Investments and Credit Suisse Asset Management earlier this year.

At the time, it was the second-largest fundraising round for a pre-revenue startup in the nation’s history.

According to Judo Capital Co-CEO and Co-Founder Joseph Healy, the backing signals strong support for Australia’s FinTech and challenger bank industry, and the heightened demand for a deeper relationship of trust between bank and client.

“Since Judo’s launch earlier this year, demand for our relationship-focused [SMB] lending has surged because we actually take the time to understand the strength of the whole business,” David Hornery, the firm’s other co-CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “This is in stark contrast to the one-size-fits-all approach by many of the incumbent banks, which has resulted in an [SMB] funding gap of more than $80 billion [about $57.8 billion USD].”

Credit Suisse Australia head of Debt Capital Markets and Asset Finance Will Farrant said in another statement that the company’s loan book includes credentialed entrepreneurs and early-stage small businesses.

“Judo has a high quality management team and a scalable business model,” he said. “It is very well positioned as a disruptor for traditional [SMB] business lending and our strategy is to back entrepreneurs to help them grow.”

In addition to FinTech players, the Australian government has strengthened its position in the small business lending market amid ongoing crackdown of bank misconduct and bank loan gaps. Earlier this month the government announced an initiative to purchase up to $1.44 billion in small business loans from non-bank lenders to heighten SMB loan availability.

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