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Private equity giants KKR and TDR take control of Jaja Finance

Shareholder reorg will see early backer IAG Silverstripe retain part of its stake.

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David Chan/Jaja Finance.

Credit card lender Jaja Finance has announced a change in its ownership, with a consortium of private equity giants KKR and TDR Capital taking majority control of the company.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but AltFi understands that it will result in fresh investment coming into the business which will result in an expansion of the Jaja team next year.

The change in majority ownership comes two years after Jaja enlisted KKR’s help to fund its £530m acquisition of the Bank of Ireland’s British credit card portfolio.

While the landmark deal brought 500,000 Post Office and AA credit card accounts into the Jaja fold, the subsequent integration project led to a 14-month delay to the launch of Jaja’s own credit card.

Jaja CEO David Chan said the agreement with KKR and TDR “validates the confidence we all have in our platform and our people”.

“With the backing of the new majority shareholders, we are looking forward to our next phase of growth with our credit card launch,” he added.

Existing investor IAG Silverstripe, which led the group’s £20m Series B in 2019, will retain a shareholding in the business.

It’s obviously very unusual for a relatively young fintech to end up under the control of private equity, however, Jaja’s journey has been far from typical.

Jaja was founded back in 2015 by three Norwegian entrepreneurs Per Elvebakk, Jostein Svendsen and Kyrre Riksen on a mission to shake up the British credit card market.

After initially raising moderate funding amounts with £4.4m from Pollen Street Capital and the Blystad Group and crowdfunding an additional £5m in 2018 with help from Celeres Investments, Jaja then changed course with its Bank of Ireland portfolio acquisition in 2019.

Chan, the former CEO of German alternative lender Monedo,joined as the new CEO of Jaja in October 2020 to scale up the firm's tech.

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