Barclays-backed online lender MarketInvoice gets $72 million in funding

Market Invoice co-founders Ilya Kondrashov, left, and Anil Stocker, right.

British lending start-up MarketInvoice said Monday that it secured £56 million ($72 million) in a mix of equity and debt funding from investors.

The London-based financial technology firm lets small-to-medium enterprises sell their unpaid invoices through an online platform to gain access to working capital loans.

MarketInvoice said the investment consisted of a £26 million funding round led by British bank Barclays and the venture capital arm of Spanish lender Santander, as well as a £30 million debt facility from Viola Credit, the lending fund of Israeli private equity firm Viola Group.

The debt funding will go towards the firm’s business loan offering. Viola Credit and European venture capital firm Northzone also participated in the equity fundraising, MarketInvoice said.

Barclays last year bought a significant minority stake in the firm, as part of a strategic partnership that will see the bank’s business clients gain access to MarketInvoice’s invoice finance solutions.

Anil Stocker, co-founder and chief executive of MarketInvoice, said the new capital would be used to boost its business in the U.K. and help it forge more partnerships with banks — with a particular focus on cross-border tie-ups.

“We’re using this money to scale the business here in the U.K., which means delivering on the strategic partnership that we have with Barclays and investing more in tech and data,” he told CNBC in a phone interview.

Barclays headquarters in London, England.

Barclays headquarters in London, England.

“We also have an eye now through the strategic partnerships — especially with Santander — to go abroad to see how we can work in European countries or further afield working with their business units.”

MarketInvoice is one of a number of alternative lenders that connect investors with borrowers over a digital platform. It’s often compared to peer-to-peer lenders like U.S.-based LendingClub and Britain’s Funding Circle.

Stocker says that the platform differs to those competitors as it’s more oriented towards connecting institutional investors with its small business customers. He said that 75 percent of investors that use MarketInvoice are financial institutions.

“We are providing core invoice finance to many businesses that depend on us week-in, week-out, and we are funding that primarily from institutions,” he said.

The British Business Bank, German lender Varengold and Portuguese bank Banco BNI Europa are among institutions providing loans to enterprises that use MarketInvoice’s platform. The company says it has funded more than £2 billion in loans to U.K. businesses since it launched its service in 2011.


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