SMB Lender Liberis Raises £32M

B2B Lender Liberis Raises £32M

Liberis, a London-based FinTech that lends to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for future credit and debit card sales, has raised £32 million (more than $42 million), according to City A.M. The company will use the money to support its growth, as well as expand further into Europe and the U.S. It also has plans to expand its workforce by 30 percent.

This is the first time that Liberis has raised institutional equity funding. The round was led by investment firm FTV Capital. So far, Liberis has raised more than £150 million in debt and equity funding. The FinTech has offices in Denver, London and Stockholm.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the global economy, yet they continue to be turned away by banks and traditional lenders, or faced with unhelpful repayment terms and complex processes,” said Liberis CEO Rob Straathof. “We are delighted with this investment from FTV Capital, as it means we can continue to onboard new partners, expand our product range and grow our team in order to serve the 50 million small businesses across the U.S., Europe and the U.K. with much needed funding.”

The company said it has given more than 15,000 small businesses an upwards of £450 million in funding since 2017.

Jerome Hershey, FTV Capital senior investment advisor, said he “believes the convergence of payment processing and small business funding presents a massive investment opportunity.” Hershey is set to join Liberis’ board.

Liberis also recently hired Howard Kramen, a former executive at PayPal, as its general manager in the U.S.

To head its European business, the company hired Pedram Tadayon, formerly of American Express and Nets.

In 2018, British Business Investments, Paragon Bank, BCI Finance and Blenheim Chalcot all participated in an $81.8 million investment in Liberis. At the time, the FinTech said it wanted to add 100,000 jobs by this year — the company has always been focused on growth and expansion.