Iwoca doubles lending, turns first annual profit

By Roger Baird on 29th July 2019

P2P/Marketplace Lending

The small business loans platform posted its maiden profit since it was founded in 2012.

Iwoca doubles lending, turns first annual profit
Image source: Company supplied

Iwoca almost doubled its loans last year, leading to its first annual profit since the small business platform was founded eight years ago.  

The London-based fintech, started by chief executive Christoph Rieche (pictured, centre) and James Dear in 2012, said loan originations jumped by 91 per cent to £325m, as its lending hit the equivalent of 12 per cent of the UK’s small business overdraft market over the last year.

The platform returned a profit of £1.3m in the year to the end of December, compared to a loss of £2.6m in the previous 12 months. Sales leapt by 88 per cent to £48m over the same period, according to Companies House filings.

The lender, which employs around 300 staff, provides small firms access to loans of between £1,000 and £250,000. It also has operations in Germany and Poland.

 

‘Filling the gaps’

In April, the firm said its lending at the end of 2018 reached the equivalent of 12 per cent of the UK’s small business overdraft market, topping Santander’s and HSBC’s rival overdraft units for the first time.

Iwoca said, in the final quarter of 2018, it approved just over £74m of lending to 3,802 companies, versus 31,637 overdrafts from high street banks.

At the time, Iwoca’s Rieche added: “We are a challenger to the banks, and our challenge has been successful. We founded iwoca to help small businesses get the finance they need by filling the gap left by high street banks.”

The platform said since its launch it has approved 35,000 small businesses for finance, nearly half of those came in 2018.

In February, iwoca raised £150m in equity and debt capital Series D fundraising, led by Augmentum Fintech, NIBC Bank and Prime Ventures.