Leading invoice finance platform MarketInvoice has raised £7.2m in what the company is calling the first “major fundraise” by a peer-to-peer lender since the referendum result. While exact valuation metrics have been held back, MarketInvoice CEO Anil Stocker has confirmed that the fundraise is an up-round.
MarketInvoice becomes the second UK peer-to-peer lending platform to raise money since the UK voted to leave the EU at the tail end of June. Consumer lender Lending Works snapped up £3m in early July in a Series A round led by NVM Private Equity. Stocker, like the vast majority of UK AltFi bosses, was a firm proponent of the Remain campaign, saying: “I think a Brexit could really put a dampener on the growth of UK fintech in the long term”. But the MarketInvoice boss then declared “business as usual”in the wake of the Brexit vote.
The £7.2m round is led by the list Polish private equity group MCI Capital, through its MCI.TechVentures Fund. MCI is an investor in iZettle, Azimo, Gett and Auctionata. Existing investor Northzone – which participated in August 2015’s £6m fundraise – is increasing its stake in the company.
Sylwester Janik, a senior partner at MCI Capital who joins the board of MarketInvoice as part of the MCI investment, offered his thoughts: “Following the result of the UK referendum, many might perceive investing in fintech as a risk. With MarketInvoice, it’s actually the opposite. We see an economic slowdown and a distracted banking sector as a potential opportunity to fuel growth of the platform. Through its prudent risk management, we believe MarketInvoice is well prepared to deal with changing market sentiment in the future.”
MarketInvoice intends to the use the fresh hit of funding to accelerate marketing and to develop new products. Stocker tell us that the plan is to expand the platform’s offering in order to encapsulate a wider range of businesses, from startups, right through to mid-sized corporates. MarketInvoice plans to launch a new borrower-facing product in Q4 2016. There had been some talk of the company moving into term loans, but Stocker says that the new product will be based off invoices and future revenues, and that it won’t be a “huge deviation” from the platform’s core offering.
In tandem with the fundraise, MarketInvoice has also announced a pair of senior appointments to a team that is now over 100 strong. Lisa Gervis, formerly of Elevate Credit and American Express, has joined as chief marketing officer, while ex-Sky IQ and Experian man Rupert Thorp has joined as director of sales.
Commenting further on the fundraise, Stocker said: “In the wake of Brexit, we think the coming months present a big opportunity for MarketInvoice. Recent intervention by the Bank of England suggests we might see significant reductions in bank lending. As in the aftermath of 2008, peer-to-peer lenders can once again step in to provide that funding when the banks move slowly. In every period of turmoil there exists huge opportunity - we believe our model will mature through this cycle, and prove we are here to stay.”