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NewAlpha’s fintech fund invests in Unilend

NewAlpha Asset Management, which launched the first French venture capital fund dedicated to Fintechs in November 2015, has made a EUR2.5 million investment in Unilend.

The investment provides Unilend with financial resources as it looks to move into the next phase in its development.
Working alongside the founders of Unilend, NewAlpha joins a shareholder base comprising Ventech, Bpifrance and 360 Capital Partners.
A French pioneer in peer-to-business lending for SMEs, Unilend lets borrowers access a new form of 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.
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."
"We are creating bridges between entrepreneurs in the financial industry and institutional players," says Antoine Rolland, president of NewAlpha.

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