iwoca is expanding its European footprint with a launch into the German lending market. The SME lending provider now offers flexible access to credit to European businesses in the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany.
With thousands of small businesses rejected for finance by banks every day, the demand for alternative providers is growing across Europe. Micro-enterprises (those with less than 5 employees) and sole traders find it particularly hard to access external financing in Germany, with applications frequently rejected (>40% of micro-enterprise credit applications were rejected in H1 2014 in Germany). In addition to these rejections traditional lenders discourage many small businesses from even applying for credit.
iwoca has already lent over £35M to UK businesses and has demonstrated that its model scales internationally. iwoca Spain grew over twice as fast as the UK business in its first 6 months since launch. iwoca has partnered with leading online bank Fidor for its German launch. Customer relationships will be entirely managed by iwoca, whilst Fidor will provide finance for the deals.
Small German businesses can get approved for a credit facility of up to €50,000, which can either be taken immediately or kept as a safety net for future use. It’s free for companies to sign up and there are no long-term commitments.
Dan and I first met Christoph Rieche, iwoca’s CEO and co-founder a couple of years ago. At the time iwoca didn’t even have any offices, it was still a business idea that he wanted to run past us and see if we thought it would work. We met for a coffee at a London train station.
Afterwards Dan and I both thought “Sounds like a good idea but how will it ever get off the ground?” but Christoph and his co-founder James worked tirelessly to bring his dream of easy to access finance to small businesses. We don’t often have the privilege to see a business grow from an idea to a start up to a flourishing international business.
Well done Christoph and congratulations to you and your team!