German consumer-finance technology company Kreditech today announced that it has raised €82.5 million in a Series C round led by J.C. Flowers—and more funding could be on the way. The investment includes a bridge loan from Peter Thiel and Amadeus Capital Partners (Amadeus) from earlier this year that has been converted into equity, as well as word that Kreditech hopes the round ultimately will raise more than €100 million.
Also participating in the round were existing investors Värde Partners, HPE Growth Capital, and Blumberg Capital.
The more than €80 million raised so far boosts the company’s total funding to more than €300 million in debt and equity. Kreditech CFO Rene Griemens noted that more than half of the company’s total funding are unused debt facilities—a revolving credit arrangement—that can be loaned out to help fuel growth.
Kreditech CEO and co-founder Sebastian Diemer demonstrated Kredito24 at FinovateSpring 2014 in New York.
Loren Felsman, managing director at J.C. Flowers who will be joining the Kreditech board as part of the investment, praised the company’s “sophisticated approach to real-time consumer banking,” especially as it relates to the underbanked. “Most lenders, including those built on modern technology, may not crack these markets for years,” Felsman said.
Kreditech leverages big data to create better credit-scoring technology for consumer-borrowers with poor or no credit histories. Kreditech focuses on the current financial health of the borrower, analyzing more than 20,000 data-points to establish potential creditworthiness.
These data-points encompass a wide range of information typically overlooked when analyzing a borrower’s likelihood of repaying debt, and include everything from a borrower’s Facebook friends to semantic analysis, i.e., the writing tone in email messages or social media posts. The goal, as Deimer explained from the stage last year at FinovateFall 2014, was both a more accurate credit rating, better pricing and more personalized lending options for the borrower.
Kreditech has deployed its technology with subsidiaries operating in nine markets: Germany, Poland, Spain, Peru, Mexico, Australia, the Dominican Republic, the Russian Federation, and the Czech Republic. “These are markets with very low or no credit-bureau infrastructure at all,” Deimer pointed out. This was key to both maximizing margins and keeping customer-acquisition costs low.” The company is also “ramping up” operations in Brazil and Romania.
Deimer was named to the Hot Topic 100 list of the most influential people in fintech in August. In May, Inc.com added Kreditech to its roster of the “22 Financial Technology Startups You Need to Know.” This spring, Kreditech announced the hiring of Oliver Prill as its new COO. Prill was previously the CEO of a boutique small-business and consumer-debt-reconciliation firm, Optanus, and before that was the founder and CEO of C&A Bank in Germany.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, Kreditech demoed its technology at FinovateSpring 2014 in New York.