During the pandemic, Berlin-based fintech CrossLend has been providing its technology to alternative lenders, helping them to better showcase their investment opportunities to institutional investors. Being ready for institutional funding is often the missing piece for many originators to qualify for government-guaranteed loans and to become accredited lenders under national COVID-19 recovery schemes. CrossLend’s infrastructure has provided a necessary bridge between originators and institutional investors, making critical COVID-19 business loans become more accessible across Europe, especially for those borrowers who are typically underserved by banks.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, European originators have been suffering from deteriorating loan portfolios, additional operational work caused by payment moratoria and an increasingly cautious and hesitant investor base. Many national governments have put in place support schemes where loans granted by originators are guaranteed or co-financed by the state.
However, these programmes were mainly designed for regular banks, and many alternative lenders failed to meet the strict requirements for government-backed support schemes. This constraint is not only detrimental to the alternative lenders themselves, but also detrimental to beneficiaries of the support schemes – the many small and medium sized companies around Europe who depend on such support schemes. Even before the pandemic, SMEs have generally been underserved by regular banks, which is why alternative lenders stepped into the gap in the market to provide funding. But these days, this important source of funding is coming up against many new challenges.
Through various discussions with our network of alternative lenders, CrossLend has developed a solution to remedy this problem. In many countries, alternative lenders need to show a solid commitment from institutional investors to be able to qualify for the support schemes. This is where CrossLend has stepped in. Leveraging its technology and its investor network, CrossLend has connected various alternative lenders with institutional investors and facilitated their accreditation under the support schemes. In doing so, the fintech has been able to stimulate the economy, helping to make government-backed business loans more accessible across Europe.
As part of this effort, CrossLend has partnered with originators, who were previously only focused on retail investors, helping them to secure institutional funding. Through these partnerships, lenders have been able to raise the required level of institutional funding and demonstrate the necessary data analytics to participate in government-backed COVID-19 schemes, such as the UK’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or the Dutch BMKB-C scheme.
All transactions which CrossLend has concluded involving such support schemes have been cross-border transactions, with investors based in different countries to the originators. European projects like these are at the core of CrossLend’s purpose and vision to support the lending economy throughout Europe. CrossLend CEO Oliver Schimek emphasises that “our mission has always been to make lending easier, more transparent and as frictionless as possible. In this instance, our technology has once again led to the creation of partnerships that can not only benefit the participants themselves but also the EU economy as a whole.”
Both in the short-term and in the long-term, collaborations like these will enable even more funding to flow to businesses across Europe. CrossLend’s technology will allow more and more originators and investors to expand their businesses across all European markets.
Berlin-based fintech CrossLend has approximately 70 employees. The company has developed a digital credit marketplace and has been processing credit data since 2014. Since its inception, CrossLend has developed a variety of technologies and industry-wide standards, many of which are specifically oriented toward the needs and objectives of European institutional investors.
Among the shareholders of CrossLend are Mouro Capital (formerly Santander InnoVentures), ABN AMRO Ventures, the Luxembourg Future Fund (European Investment Fund; SNCI), CME Group, Lakestar, Earlybird, Northzone, Promus Ventures, Atlantic Labs and finleap.
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