By Ryan Weeks on 23rd October 2018
The EIF invested via its Luxembourg Future Fund.
The logic behind LendInvest’s recent expansion in Luxembourg is coming into focus.
The property lending platform recently clinched £30.5m in a debt and equity Series C fundraise. The round, which was tabbed a ‘pre-IPO’ raise, featured new investors Tiger Management and GP Bullhound, with existing backer Atomico also increasing its stake.
AltFi can now reveal that the Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF), advised by the European Investment Fund (EIF), made an equity investment in LendInvest as part of the round. The LFF is a €150m fund set up jointly by the EIF and the Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI) to invest in early and growth-stage tech firms.
The LFF’s funding is made up of a €120m contribution from the SNCI, alongside €30m from the EIF.
The SNCI specialises in the medium and long-term financing of Luxembourg-based companies. While LendInvest wouldn’t say as much, it seems likely that its recent decision to strengthen its presence in Luxembourg was an important factor in securing the investment.
In June, LendInvest became a member of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT), while at the same time committing to hiring more staff in the country over the next few months.
At the time, LendInvest co-founder and CEO Christian Faes (pictured) said, thinking ahead to post-Brexit, that it was important for the company to be established in ‘Europe’s number one investment hub’.
Patrick Nickels, chairman of the Luxembourg Future Fund Board, said of the investment in LendInvest: "The LFF believes in driving innovation and we are delighted to support this investment, which will help to strengthen the Fintech industry and generate positive spillover effects in Luxembourg."
To our knowledge, this is the first time that the EIF has made an equity investment in a UK fintech lender.
The supranational entity once invested significant amounts of money through UK-based marketplace lender Funding Circle, but the relationship was severed shortly after the Brexit referendum in 2016. The EIF has since turned to French platform Lendix for help distributing its cash to European SMEs.