iZettle, one of Europe's most successful fintech startups, is ramping up its research and development efforts and will focus on the potential applications of artificial intelligence with fresh funding from the EU's lending arm.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is funding a round of debt to the tune of €30m for the payments firm, which provides technology for small businesses. In addition to machine learning, it will also look at next generation infrastructure for payments, digitisation of commerce as well as technology for compliance.
“We’re proud to receive this stamp of approval from the EIB," said iZettle's chief executive and co-founder Jacob de Geer. "It’s the type of offer you can’t refuse and it will allow us to further accelerate our growth and continue to level the playing field for small businesses, giving them access to tools to take on the big corporations.”
The cash comes via the EIB's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is deigned to fund projects that are strategically important to the European Union (EU).
"This loan is something that the EIB is proud of: It stands testimony to EIB’s ongoing effort to improve the access to funding for European mid-cap companies," said EIB vice president Alexander Stubb. iZettle is a young and innovative company which helps digitalise our economy and improves the business and cost structure of millions of small shops.”
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The EFSI has so far funded €34bn worth of projects across the region, €3.2bn of which have been in the UK. Last year the EIB backed £100m worth of loans to small business via UK fintech startup Funding Circle.