Peer-to-peer lender MarketInvoice is another startup shaking off Brexit with a new multi-million pound round of funding as it nears the £1bn lending milestone.
The London firm has raised £7.2m, led by Polish venture capital and private equity firm MCI Capital through its TechVentures Fund with further cash coming from existing investor Northzone, which boasts previous invesmtents in Spotify and iZettle.
Started in 2011, MarketInvoice focuses on small business lending, but will now expand to startups and mid-sized firms and hopes to expand internationally. It expects to pass the £1bn lending milestone by the end of the year.
“MarketInvoice is a prime example of a truly innovative business that’s redefining an age-old sector of traditional finance. They provide vital working capital to a continuously underserved segment of customers, where incumbents are reluctant to innovate," said MCI Capital senior partner Sylwester Janik, who will join the board.
There has been some cause for concern among UK startups as questions hang over whether it will remain attractive for foreign investment in the wake of Brexit.
However, the firm echoed comments made by some in the fintech industry that there could be more opportunity for startups, particularly in fintech, as banks are distracted with larger Brexit worries.
“Following the result of the UK referendum, many might perceive investing in fintech as a risk. With MarketInvoice, it’s actually the opposite," said Janik.
"We see an economic slowdown and a distracted banking sector as a potential opportunity to fuel growth of the platform. Through its prudent risk management, we believe MarketInvoice is well prepared to deal with changing market sentiment in the future.”
The comments echo that of fintech investment and advisory group Anthemis, which has pointed to such conditions spurring innovation.
The latest investment brings total investment in the startup, which was named one of the 50 hottest startups in the annual Fintech50, to more than £22m.
“In the wake of Brexit, we think the coming months present a big opportunity for MarketInvoice," said founder and chief executive Anil Stocker.
"Recent intervention by the Bank of England suggests we might see significant reductions in bank lending. As in the aftermath of 2008, peer-to-peer lenders can once again step in to provide that funding when the banks move slowly. In every period of turmoil there exists huge opportunity – we believe our model will mature through this cycle, and prove we are here to stay.”