Zencap Gears Up for Growth

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 1 September 2015

Alternative Lending

The German peer-to-peer platform Zencap has just raised a sizeable chunk of lending capital.

The ever-active Victory Park Capital (VPC) has committed to invest up to €230m via the Zencap marketplace over the next 3 years, in what’s being called an “exclusive” agreement. That likely means that Victory Park won’t be channeling funds into any other German peer-to-peer lenders in the near future. Zencap facilitates loans of between €5k and €250k for SMEs in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

Zencap was originally spun out by Rocket Internet in March 2014. The platform currently stands as Continental Europe’s second largest small business focused platform, with nearly €28m in loans funded to date, according to the Liberum AltFi Volume Index Continental Europe (LAVICE)

Victory Park becomes the Zencap platform’s largest institutional investor. Indeed, the €230m commitment is the largest facility to have been won by a Continental Europe-based marketplace lender. Victory Park has secured a credit facility from a leading global bank in order to leverage Zencap loans at favourable rates.

Victory Park has been an eager participant in Europe’s marketplace lending space. The asset manager launched its closed end fund Specialty Lending Investments on the London Stock Exchange in March, raising proceeds of £200m. The company plans to raise more money via a C Share issue in September, suggesting that deployment is on track. Victory Park has also committed $420m and £150m to Funding Circle (both the UK and US arms) and Assetz Capital respectively. On the company’s latest foray into Europe, Victory Park Principal Gordon Watson said:

“We are impressed with the Zencap team's ability to execute an ambitious strategy, and their results in the three countries they operate in give us confidence that this emerging platform is serving a critical market need. With this additional lending facility, Zencap will be well positioned to continue to achieve substantial growth over the near term and firmly establish itself as a market leader in Continental Europe.”

Matthias Knecht, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Zencap – whom we interviewed in February, also weighed in:

“We are excited to announce this long-term, strategic partnership with VPC, the leading investor in the industry. This groundbreaking transaction will help to further accelerate our growth and support us in our mission to provide fast and seamless access to capital for small businesses in Europe.”

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