U.K. alternative small business (SMB) lender iwoca announced on Monday (Feb. 18) a fundraise worth nearly $194 million. Reports in Business Leader said Augmentum Fintech led the Series D funding round, which was made up of equity and debt capital, while NIBC Bank and existing backers, including Prime Ventures, also took part in the funding.
In a statement, iwoca CEO and Co-founder Christoph Rieche said the investment will enable the company to continue focusing on propelling small business growth in the U.K., as well as in Germany and Poland. The company turned its first profit last year, reports said, and has, so far, provided financing to more than 25,000 small businesses.
Reiche said, “iwoca continues to grow rapidly, while bank lending to small companies has dwindled. We are on track to fund 100,000 small businesses in the next five years, and our mission is to help 1 million small businesses succeed by opening up access to finance.”
In another statement, Augmentum Fintech CEO Tim Levene said the company “is unique for its scale in both the U.K. and Germany. The factors that underpin iwoca’s success are difficult to achieve in combination. We are confident that iwoca will emerge as one of the few winners in the [SMB] non-bank lending space.”
The company’s new funding was announced the same day as another alternative U.K. small business lender. ThinCats announced its own capital funding, provided by the British Business Bank‘s (BBB’s) British Business Investments subsidiary. The BBB provided $25.9 million to the company, which will be used to finance small business loans.
“This is a significant step in our mission to level the playing field for British entrepreneurs whose growth ambitions are being held back by traditional lending models,” said ThinCats Chief Development Officer Damon Walford in a statement, according to TheBusinessDesk.com.