The peer-to-peer lending platform welcomes Euazeo and Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet to its capital and will launch in Italy and Spain in 2016.
Prêt d’ Union continues its rise in the peer-to-peer lending market. 80 million euros were lent in 2014 on the platform and the 160 million mark should be passed in 2015. To continue its momentum and start rolling out abroad in 2016, Prêt d’Union has just finalised a €31 million funding round. The start-up welcomes two new investors: Eurazeo, which injected about half of the total amount, but also Kernel, the investment fund of Pierre Kosciusko Morizet. They join the historical investors Credit Mutuel Arkea, Schibsted, Ag2r la mondiale, Weber investments and Kima Ventures.
Investing in Big Data and machine learning
This new round of financing will enable the company to accelerate its international deployment, planned for early 2016. Strengthening the workforce – more than80 employees now work in the startup and they will be a hundred by the end of the year, technological investments (“especially in Big Data and machine learning”, underlines Geoffroy Guiguou, co-founder and CEO), but especially internationalization. After more than three years in France, Prêt d’Union will launch in Italy in early 2016, then in Spain in late 2016 or early 2017.
This new round of financing, following the €10 million round of financing completed in November 2013, brings to €50 million the funds raised by Prêt d’Union since its launch in December 2011. The flagship of French fintech, Prêt d’Union has a strong argument against its competitors: the start-up is the only web-based player in the field of credit between individuals approved as a “credit institution providing investment services” by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) – it took nearly two years to obtain this approval. A title which allows to establish the legitimacy of the site and to gain the confidence of the Internet users and which will be easily duplicated, henceforth, in all the European countries.
Pooling of credits to reduce risk
Above all, the strong point of Prêt d’Union lies in the pooling of loans: investors do not lend to a particular person but to a profile of borrowers (for example “short conservative”, the best borrower profile over a period of three years), thus diversifying the risk. A plus compared to SME lending platforms, where investors bet everything on one or a few companies.
Prêt d’Union has more than 20,000 borrower clients and 2,000 investor clients,” says Geoffroy Guigou. And we gain more than 1,500 clients per month.” On average, investors have lent 40,000 euros on the platform, but some have settled for 1,000 while others have gone as high as… 10 million. More than 20 lenders have deposited more than €1 million on Prêt d’Union, mainly family offices. The return is between 3 and 6%. On the borrowers’ side, the loans amount to an average of 8,000 euros.