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New alternative lender Koyo raises £36m

The cash raised by Koyo, part of its Series A fundraise, is a mixture of debt and equity funding as it bolsters its growth plans in the ‘near-prime’ consumer credit market.

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Koyo, a new consumer lender leveraging open banking, has closed its Series A funding round and raised a new pot of debt capital allowing it to ramp up its origination plans. 

Launched in 2020 by its founder Thomas Olszewski, a former venture capitalist with Frontline Ventures in London and Cavalry Ventures in Berlin, the start-up is a UK-based open banking powered consumer lender operating in the near-prime space.

“Koyo launched at the start of the global pandemic and has proven that innovative use of open banking data results in better risk decisioning and ultimately has enabled us to grow the business during one of the toughest economic times the UK has faced. I’m proud to have continued to give many people in the UK access to competitively priced credit, during a time where most traditional lenders were quick to scale back their lending,” Olszewski said.

The equity round was led by Force Over Mass with participation from existing investors Forward Partners, Frontline Ventures and Seedcamp.  New investors in Koyo include Force Over Mass, Matt Robinson (founder of GoCardless, founder of Nested) and experienced angel investors from the banking and lending sectors.  The vision is to become a world leader in using alternative data to offer competitively priced financial products.

The debt portion came from Atalaya Capital Management, a New York-based alternative investment advisory firm.

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