Aggressive French marketplace lending platform for small businesses expands into Italy, appoints local CEO.
Lendix, one of the best-known marketplace lenders in mainland Europe, has branched out into Italy. With Lendix Italia expected to go live in the first quarter of this year, Lendix has appointed seasoned entrepreneur Sergio Zocchi (pictured right) as CEO of the operation.
Zocchi has founded and managed a number of startups in the technology space, including JVCapital, an early stage investment fund. Prior to joining Lendix, Zocchi was a partner at United Ventures, a leading Italian venture capital fund which is authorised by the Bank of Italy. Zocchi, who is based in Milan, has a remit to the build the new subsidiary’s team to ten people in the short term.
“Sergio has huge entrepreneurial expertise and knows the Italian economic environment perfectly,” said Olivier Goy, founder and CEO of Lendix. “After France, where we are well established with 55 per cent market share and Spain where we have started to operate at the end of last year, Italy marks another step on our path to become a leading player in continental Europe.”
Lendix announced plans to launch a Spanish offshoot in July of last year, after closing a €13.5m series B investment round in April, which was led by French insurance firm CNP Assurances. Furthermore, in what was yet another bold move, Lendix acquired short-term SME lender and former competitor Finsquare in April of last year.
Lendix has lent over €56m to date, according to AltFi Data’s records, making it one of the largest business focused marketplace lenders in Europe by volume. The firm enters a quiet Italian market in terms of alternative business lending, with BorsadelCredito.it and Workinvoice operating in something of a vacuum, at €7m and €35m lent respectively. Will Lendix Italia’s arrival jumpstart the sector?
“I’m excited to join to such an innovative and already successful venture that has already been awarded the 32nd position in the global ranking of the 2016 FINTECH100 by KPMG & H2 Ventures,” said Zocchi. “Italy is an untapped strategic market for Lendix, a wide economic system made up of numerous SMEs looking for an alternative financing solutions to develop their business.”
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.