Digital micro-lender Oakam, which focuses on lending to people who struggle to access loans from high street banks, has grabbed a £35m debt investment from Victory Park Capital.
Oakam has already distributed £320m in consumer loans, and plans to use the investment to increase its UK lending activity by more than 180 per cent year-on-year.
With the aim of using its digital-first approach to serve customers at a lower cost than traditional doorstep lenders, it believes the £35m will allow it to provide an extra £200m to unbanked communities.
“Consumer credit has long been broken for those at the bottom. With 12m financially excluded consumers in the UK alone, there is a significant opportunity for Oakam to fill the large unmet need for better, more accessible and affordable credit,” said Frederic Nze, chief executive and founder of Oakam.
The lender launched in 2006, and its loan applications have grown by 300 per cent over 2017 alone. “Oakam’s model in micro-finance, that captures the value of a digital approach without overlooking the role of human interaction, has enabled the team to break into a highly competitive market,” said Gordon Watson, of Chicago-headquartered Victory Park Capital.