The Hamburg-based Fintech company, Kreditch, has a new strategic investor. Industry reports suggest that a subsidiary of the South African media group Naspers is putting 110 million euros into the startup. According to Kredith, the majority of this is a direct equity investment; the remainder is structured as a convertible bond.
PayU, a payment specialist subsidiary of Naspers, has been cooperating with Kreditch since March 2016. At that time, PayU integrated the instalment credit model from Kreditech as a payment option for its users.
The entry of Naspers as an equity investor has meant that a number early Kreditech shareholders have exited their investments, among them the co-founder Sebastian Diemer, the business angels Heiko Hubertz and Michael Brehm, the Rocket fund Global Founders Capital and the Early-phase VC, Point Nine Capital.
The company recently confirmed the investment. Kreditch did not directly address the question of the company’s value but according to CFO René Griemens its valuation has risen compared with the previous round of financing. Griemens stressed that less than a third of the 110 million euros had been used to buy out shareholders.
“If Credits wants to continue to grow successfully, it needs further equity,” said Griemens.
“Especially as we offer increasingly lower interest rates and longer maturities.”
Recently, Kreditch also took on a strategic investor: the Japanese Internet group Rakuten invested ten million euros in December from its Fintech fund, launched a few months earlier. According to a report from TechCrunch, the valuation at that time was around 300 million euros, although the company never confirmed the number.
Founded in 2012, the startup has accumulated an additional €190 million in capital over the course of the company’s history. With the money, the company operates its lending business with end users in various countries. The purpose of lending is, above all, to train a scoring algorithm that is designed to assess the creditworthiness of potential borrowers. More than 20,000 data points are used for this purpose. In the meantime, Kreditch also offers its “lending-as-a-service” to business customers.
The company, which now employs almost 400 people, was responsible for 43 million euros in 2015, more than twice as much as in the previous year.