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French P2B platform raises €8 million

Less than 16 months after its launch peer-to-business platform Unilend has raised €8 million. The funding comes from investment funds Ventech and 360 Capital Partners, and public investment bank Bpifrance.

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The money raised will give Unilend the opportunity to support its fast growing development in France and to expand its activities in continental Europe

 Nicolas Lesur, Co-Founder at Unilend, commented:

“We are very pleased to welcome complementary funds as Ventech, 360 Capital Partners and Bpifrance as new shareholders. Beyond their investment, this trio constitutes for us the ideal combination of competences. Not only are they specialized in the support of fast-growing businesses but also they know the French SMEs' landscape well, and they will support our development in Southern Europe”.

According to AltFi Data Unilend have cumulatively (since November 2013) lent €9,428,150 and Unilend says that a lending offer is made every two minutes on its website. For comparison Pret D’Union, a consumer peer-to-peer lender has cumulatively lent €160,342,000 since 2011.

Nicolas Lesur added:

“Unilend has received more than €25 million of offers for its fundraising, which shows investors’ confidence in the high potential of Unilend and the crowdlending market”.

Formal regulations for peer-to-peer lending in France were passed in October 2014. The “Financement participatif” (“peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding activity”) legislation has clarified the rules around peer-to-peer platforms and made it a lot easier for alternative finance platforms to operate.

Unilend has also struck up a strategic partnership with Groupama Banque which will lend €100 million to businesses through the platform over the next four years.

Bernard Pouy, CEO of Groupama Banque, commented:

“This ambitious partnership will allow Groupama Banque to sustain the growth of French businesses all across the country.”

This partnership has helped Unilend increase their volumes and Groupama Banque has around 536,000 clients across France and so there is the potential for many businesses to be referred to the platform. This coupled with the expansion that Unilend is planning with the proceeds of the fundraise make this platform one that could have a significant impact on the European peer-to-business space.  

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