Any other business
Everline and ezbob charged with additional £30m to help with SME lending
3 min read
24 April 2015
Having recently signed a new partnership with Chinese ecommerce platform Alibaba, and become the recipient of the first loan guarantee agreement in the UK with the European Investment Fund (EIF), Everline and ezbob have closed a £30m convertible debt deal with Oaktree Capital Management.
The deal has been made so that the combined alternative small business e-lending platform can have a bigger pool of capital from which to refinance existing debt, accelerate growth and provide loans to “thousands” of British small businesses.
Everline and ezbob came together in February 2015 through a merger deal, and have together provided 6,000 loans to SMEs in the UK – with growth reported at more than 200 per cent a year.
Explaining what brought about the new fundraising, Everline and ezbob CEO Tomer Guriel said that demand for the company’s product has been growing year-on-year, and the team were keen to secure investment to support more businesses.
“As a growing company, we recognise the huge appetite for competitively priced finance options from UK SMEs. With SMEs continuing to find bank lending challenging, they are seeking out alternative options to borrow, at competitive rates, with a reputable company,” he added.
“They are often looking to grow their businesses but are met with stumbling blocks due to lack of finance. This is where our product had filled a gap and supported the growing demand.”
Guriel said the decision to partner with Oaktree Capital Management was down to a mutual interest in the SME market. As a “top five global equity fund”, he believes the two companies will form a “powerful partnerships with a collective goal”.
The Alibaba deal Everline and ezbob signed in March saw the creation of the Alibaba.com e-Credit Line. Small and medium-sized businesses are able to apply for a line of credit, receive approval, and then use that credit to make multiple draw downs to finance purchases on the platform.
Read more about SME finance:
- SMEs increasingly relying on friends and family for finance
- Small British businesses snub banks after continued lack of support, says eBay
- Finance being sought for investment, rather than working capital, finds BBB
The EIF arrangement involved the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) funds guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help provide more loans and lease finance – mainly up to €150,000 to SMEs. Everline and ezbob are now able to “substantially increase” loan volumes to SMEs by supporting a new portfolio of loans worth up to £40m over the next two years.
“Progress has been fantastic and we are delighted with business performance since the Everline acquisition. We have just achieved a record quarter since we launched the business and are now growing at more than 200 per cent per annum,” Guriel comments.
“We have had a very busy couple of months having announced the partnership with Alibaba.com and signing the first loan guarantee agreement in the UK under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). We look forward to continued growth which will allow us to support more SMEs.”