iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing SME lenders, and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, are partnering to provide Intesa’s SME clients with innovative credit products to bridge the funding gap and support growth in this key section of the economy.

The partnership will leverage iwoca’s market leading SME lending platform and Intesa’s expertise in building banking operations across Italy, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The strategic partnership coincides with an investment in iwoca by Neva Finventures, Intesa Sanpaolo’s fintech venture capital arm.

Christoph Rieche, co-founder and CEO of iwoca, said: “To date, iwoca has been able to support over 10,000 small businesses with operations across the UK and mainland Europe. We are excited that Intesa Sanpaolo recognised the value of the technology we’ve built and will use it as part of their SME lending operations in the future.”   “Partnering with Neva Finventures and Intesa Sanpaolo is an exciting opportunity to leverage our SME lending technology platform across new credit products and regions while working with one of the most forward-thinking and expansive banking groups in Europe.”

Maurizio Montagnese, Chief Innovation Officer at the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, said: “Investing in iwoca is of strategic importance to us in that it strengthens the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s position in the area of new business models, and specifically in highly innovative digital financial services. The industrial synergies between iwoca and Intesa Sanpaolo could be significant in the coming years and allow the Intesa Sanpaolo Group to enter segments of the market not served by other banks.”

Alternative lenders now represent a crucial lever for economic growth as traditional banks struggle to provide small businesses with the funding they need. Having lent over £200 million across 28,000 transactions since launch in 2012, iwoca is one of the fastest growing business credit providers in Europe. iwoca has now supported over 10,000 businesses across the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany.

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