Bitbond secures £4.2m to fund SME loans
GLOBAL bitcoin peer-to-peer lending platform Bitbond has received a €5m (£4.2m) commitment from Obotritia Capital to fund small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans.
The Potsdam-based investment firm, which usually channels its funds into German commercial real estate, has also bought an equity stake in Bitbond, although the terms of that deal were not disclosed.
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With the new debt facility, SME loans will be funded instantly on Bitbond’s platform, reducing the time it takes business owners to apply and receive a loan to 30 minutes.
The equity investment will be used for further product development and marketing, to grow Bitbond’s user base.
“The debt commitment by Obotritia brings Bitbond to the next level in our efforts to provide universal SME financing,” said Radoslav Albrecht, founder and chief executive of Bitbond.
“The next step is to work with partners. Such partners could be online marketplaces who want to add value to their platforms by giving their merchants access to instant cash through Bitbond.”
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Berlin-headquartered Bitbond connects individual and institutional investors with SME borrowers and uses the bitcoin blockchain for payment processing. Most of its borrowers are online sellers who run their shops on e-commerce marketplaces like eBay, Amazon or Etsy.
The loans – which are mostly used for inventory financing – are for borrowers based all over the world, including the UK.
It has originated more than 1,700 loans worth €1.4m since its launch in 2013. 90,000 users from 120 countries have registered on the site to date.
Read more: SME access to finance ‘worse outside London’