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French P2P Lender Receives €28 million Investment

French peer-to-business lending platform, Lendix, has received a €28.2 million investment to boost the expansion of its marketplace.

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The new investors include Decaux Frères Investissements, Banque Wormser Frères, Sycomore and two international family offices. They are providing €3.2 million of equity capital and committing €25 million to lend to SMEs on the Lendix marketplace.

Gérard Degonse, Chairman of JCDecaux’s Supervisory Board and Administrator of Decaux Frères Investissements and Pascal Oddo will join Lendix’s Supervisory Board. They will be joining current board members: Philippe Citerne, director of Accor and Edenred, Christian Gueugnier, Weber Investissements, Philippe Collombel, Partech Ventures and Xavier Anthonioz, 123Venture. 

Olivier Goy, president and founder of Lendix, commented: 

“We are very excited to have such a diverse and solid shareholder base. It demonstrates the interest SME loans have for every type of investor. We have brought together a fantastic group of entrepreneurs who share our values and our approach to growing Lendix.

Goy continued:

It’s crucial for the private and institutional investors joining our marketplace to know that our shareholders are also our clients.”

Patrick de Nonneville, COO of Lendix, added:

“The lending revolution affects all investors: individuals, corporates looking to deploy their cash, family offices, asset managers, insurers. From the start, we’ve built Lendix to involve all investor types.”

The platform only started lending in March this year with a loan to chef Alain Ducasse in Paris for three restaurants. In total Ducasse borrowed €300,000 over 48 months on four of his subsidiaries, Benoit, Aux Lyonnais, Rech, three Parisian brasserie. The loans will help finance the purchase of kitchen equipment and facilities. The other loan is for a chocolate factory, Alain Ducasse Chocolate, created in 2012 on the rue de la Roquette in Paris. Lendix set a rate of 4.5% for this loan which is low compared to SME loans in the UK.  

In October last year the French government passed “Financement participatif” (translated as “peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding activity”) legislation that has made it a lot easier for alternative finance platforms to operate. Since then many new platforms have opened in France including, Lendopolis, Finsquare, PretPME. One of the largest P2P lenders in France is Pret D’Union which, according to AltFi Data, has lent €159 million since inception in 2011.  

In 2015 Lendix aims to provide loans to 200 high quality SMEs. The minimum loan size is €30,000 and the maximum is €300,000, and the terms will range from 18-48 months. Lendix also promises a yield of 4-8% for investors. Compared to the UK there has been relatively little activity in the French P2P space, however, the investment in Lendix could be a sign that activity, led by increasing investor demand, is starting to pick up. 

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