Paris based emerging manager seeder NewAlpha Asset Management has invested €2.5m in Unilend through its French venture capital fund dedicated to fintechs launched in November 2015.
Unilend is a French peer-to-peer business lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose shareholder also includes Ventech, Bpifrance and 360 Capital Partners.
“Unilend lets borrowers access a new form of simple, direct and unsecured funding via loans granted by individual and institutional investors. In so doing, these investors can diversify their investment portfolio by lending directly to SMEs and help to finance the economy,” NewAlpha explained.
Unilend has funded more than 270 French SMEs across all economic sectors, within less than three years.
In July 2016, it became the first lending platform to raise over €20m through P2P lending only.
NewAlpha specified the financing requirements of small and medium-sized French enterprises are estimated at €90bn per year and that the French loan-crowd-funding market in 2015 weighed €200m according to estimations.
“A platform’s quality is determined based on the quality of the loans originated online and its ability to handle substantial transactions, while also developing a proactive relationship with its community of lenders and borrowers,” said Lior Derhy, managing director responsible for private equity at NewAlpha.
“Unilend offers all of these aspects, together with a team, shareholders and technology able to ensure its development, in particular among institutional investors.”