Rocket Internet-backed marketplace lender Lendico has formed a joint venture with Swiss PostFinance.
Set to go live in Q4 of this year, the partnership paves the way for Lendico to branch out into Switzerland – specifically to provide financing to Swiss SMEs. The new platform will be named Lendico Schweiz AG.
Lendico is already active across Germany, Austria, Brazil, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa and Spain – making it one of the few marketplace lenders to span multiple continents. The company is headquartered in Germany. Though originally launched as a marketplace for consumer loans, Lendico branched out into corporate credit in March 2015.
PostFinance is a Swiss financial services provider, offering payment and “e-finance” services, as well as electronic account management. The company is a subsidiary of Schweizerische Post. PostFinance is said to have a balance sheet of over 119 billion Swiss Francs, making it one of Switzerland’s largest banks. Lendico co-founder and managing director said: "As part of the continued expansion of an international credit marketplace, this joint venture represents a significant step in our business development."
Lendico has chopped and changed somewhat in its approach to international expansion. The platform announced that it was withdrawing private investment opportunities in Spain, Poland and South Africa in March 2015 – cordoning off these higher risk jurisdictions for institutional investment.
Lendico raised €20m in equity funding from a gaggle of institutional investors in May, with the specific intention of spurring on plans for international growth, while also bolstering the platform's team and technological systems.
Hansruedi Köng, CEO of PostFinance, offered his perspective on the new joint venture: "The combination of Lendico's innovative capacity and our structures in Switzerland offers the best conditions for Lendico Schweiz AG to become a market leader in the future."