A short update on Smava – the online personal bank loans broker – has raised $16m in equity funding.
Smava is often referred to as a peer-to-peer lender, and indeed the platform was one of the pioneers within the German market. But according to Claus Lehmann of P2P-Banking.com, Smava repositioned in 2012 – becoming a technology-based facilitator of loans, rather than a lender itself.
The redirection appears to be working. The $16m fundraise brings the total amount of equity funding accumulated by Smava to $30m. The latest round was led by Phenomen Ventures, who were joined by existing backers Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners. Phenomen’s past investments include the now-eminent US consumer loans provider Prosper.
Smava’s algorithm based approval process has thus far been responsible for the facilitation of $600m in loans. The platform’s origination volumes have doubled over the past year. Igal Weinstein, a General Partner at Phenomen, will be joining the Smava board.
Alexander Artopé, CEO of Smava, weighed in on the raise:
“This fresh capital enables us to accelerate our business growth as well as to fulfil our vision of offering fully-automated loans to borrowers at best rates in the near future. The funding will also be used to advance smava’s scoring technology, hire the best talent and further fuel growth.”
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.