A Portuguese digital bank has pumped €50m into Ireland's largest crowd lender

Banco BNI Europa will release the funds to Linked Finance over a two-year period.

By Jonathan Keane Reporter, Fora

DUBLIN-BASED PEER-TO-PEER lender Linked Finance has just landed €50 million in funding.

Linked Finance’s platform connects SMEs in need of credit with lenders. It has facilitated more than 1,400 loans to date, the company said.

The fresh round of investment has come from Portuguese digital bank Banco BNI Europa – the funds will be released over a two-year period.

The Irish fintech company will use the new capital to provide more liquidity on its service.

“This arrangement with Banco BNI Europa will allow us to immediately increase lending to local businesses,” said Linked Finance chief executive Niall Dorrian.

It will allow more “ordinary members of the Irish public” to lend to businesses and generate a potential return, he added.

Partners

Portugal’s Banco BNI Europa is a digital banking firm which partners with alternative lending platforms around Europe. It also has a foothold in Belgium, Finland and Germany.

The bank’s executive chairman Pedro Coelho said the partnership with Linked Finance is a “natural fit” for Banco BNI Europa in its growth strategy for Europe.

“Ireland is a market we have been keen to enter and, as the leading P2P lending platform here, Linked Finance is the obvious partner,” he said.

Founded in 2013, Linked Finance previously raised €2 million last year in a round led by Frontline Ventures and was backed by French investment fund Eiffel Investment.

The platform currently has 19,000 users and has seen around €59 million worth of loans go through the service.

Its most recent accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office showed that the company made a loss of €1.2 million in the year ending in April 2016.

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