By Oliver Smith on Thursday 9 February 2023
Co-CEO Xavier De Pauw says Kennek is building a new “operating system” for lenders.
London-based lending infrastructure provider Kennek has today closed a $4.5m pre-seed funding round to scale-up its European operations.
Kennek has developed an “operating system” for lenders, credit investors, corporates and servicers in the alternative credit sector, that helps manage credit products.
The funding round was led by the Dutch Founders Fund—which includes the founders of WeTransfer and JustEat— and joint with ffVC and Plug and Play Ventures.
“If you want to launch a lender tomorrow in the UK, we have a plug-and-play solution. That's how good this is in the UK now,” Kennek’s co-CEO and co-founder Xavier De Pauw told AltFi.
De Pauw, who previously co-founded Belgian challenger bank MeDirect and was an early angel investor in Revolut, declined to share Kennek’s valuation as part of the raise.
So far the startup has grown to 20 “Kennek’ters”, as the team have started calling themselves, with the $4.5m pre-Seed round earmarked for “technology, team and go-to-market” as well as preparing the technology for the European market.
“For Europe, we’re 80 per cent there, with the last 20 per cent being small local connections,” said De Pauw.
On the large size of this pre-seed round, De Pauw said it was important to overcome one of the hurdles of offering such a critical piece of lending infrastructure.
“If there's one challenge that we still have, it's people saying ‘you have a fantastic system, it's great, but our entire operation will run on you, you’re a core system.’ So it's good to now show we've got strong financial backers.”
While Kennek is still early-stage, the startup is already signing up customers, with two corporates looking to offer embedded credit and receivable finance platforms with the help of Kennek.
“This is another massive market that we can help with,” said De Pauw. “Because nobody else has built a vertical operating system in this space.”
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