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NewAlpha makes EUR2.5m investment in UniLend

NewAlpha’s French fintech venture capital fund has made a EUR2.5 million investment in French P2P SME lender Unilend.

Unilend lets borrowers access a new form of simple, direct and unsecured funding via loans granted by individual and institutional investors.
In so doing, investors can diversify their investment portfolio by lending directly to SMEs and help to finance the economy.
Thanks to a community of 10,600 active lenders in France, which exceeds that of all other platforms combined, Unilend has made it possible to fund more than 270 French SMEs across all economic sectors, within less than three years.
In July 2016, Unilend was the first lending platform to raise more than EUR20 million through P2P lending only.
The financing requirements of small and medium-sized French enterprises are estimated at EUR90 billion per year. Estimated at EUR200 million in 2015, the French loan-based crowd-funding market is seeing strong growth in 2016 and has significant development potential in light of the sums raised in the UK (EUR4.5 billion) and in the US (EUR15 billion).
"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,” says 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.”
Nicolas Lesur, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Unilend, adds: "The equity investment of a leading player in the world of finance acknowledges Unilend's commercial and technological success, and demonstrates the solidity of its credit analysis model. As such, NewAlpha's investment confirms the validity of Unilend's strategic choices and the platform's growth potential with institutional investors."
Jean Bourcereau, partner at Ventech Capital and long-standing investor with Unilend, says: "Beyond the amount invested, NewAlpha's stake in Unilend is first and foremost a strategic and industrial partnership that will enable Unilend to step up its development while relying on NewAlpha's extensive expertise in the entrepreneurial and institutional financial industry."
Subscribed by institutional investors, in particular the Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe Group (CMNE), the fund managed by NewAlpha aims to build and enhance a diversified investment portfolio in innovative Fintech and Insurtech companies. It also aims to ensure the active monitoring of developments in financial services and of technological changes that affect banking, insurance and asset management business lines.

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