IRISH peer-to-peer lender Linked Finance has secured €50m (£44m) in funding from Banco BNI Europa, the Portugal-based challenger bank.
BNI Europa will deploy the funds over two years to lend to Irish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The agreement aims to add further liquidity to Linked Finance, which has lent over €50m via more than 1,400 loans since launching in 2013.
BNI Europa will deploy its capital alongside Linked Finance’s existing lenders.
The Portuguese bank has partnered with several alternative lending platforms across Europe since 2016, including Funding Circle in Germany, CrossLend, Raize and MarketInvoice.
Niall Dorrian chief executive officer of Linked Finance, said the deal will allow it to immediately increase lending to local businesses.
“It is yet more evidence of how the world is changing and through technology Linked Finance is making it easier for SMEs to borrow money,” he added.
Pedro Coelho, executive chairman of Banco BNI Europa, said that as a fintech-driven bank, a partnership with Linked Finance was a natural fit for the business.
“Over the past years, we have successfully built a network of strategic partnerships with fast-moving fintech companies across Europe. Ireland is a market we have been keen to enter and, as the leading marketplace lending platform here, Linked Finance is the obvious partner,” he stated.
Companies that have raised funding with Linked Finance include Viking Splash Tours, The Rolling Donut, Big Red Cloud, Lolly & Cooks, Murphy’s Ice Cream, Iconic Offices and the Irish Fairy Door Company.
Read more: Ireland’s Linked Finance gains FCA approval