German credit startup Smava bags $34 million Series C investment

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Berlin-based credit broker Smava announced Friday the close of their Series C investment round, bringing in $34 million in new capital. According to reports, the round was led by Runa Capital with money also coming in from mojo.capital and Verdane Capital. Runa’s stamp of approval is a big deal, with other FinTech giants in its portfolio like Lendingrobot, Lendio and Zopa. The round also included participation from their early stage investor Earlybird Venture Capital.

This new injection of cash brings Smava’s total haul to just over $63 million according to Crunchbase. They last raised money in 2015 with a $16 million Series B funding round, led by Phenomen Ventures. The company plans to use the new cash to expand its ability to offer “fully automated installment loans,” according to German-language business news publication Gründerszene.

With 180 employees already a part of the team, Smava was founded in 2007 and is led by CEO Alexander Artopé.

Smava started out as a P2P lending portal, but has since pivoted – according to Gründerszene – toward being a general marketplace, connecting private investors and banks to potential borrowers. Their loans range from as little as 1,000 EUR to as high as 120,000. They brag of having more than $1.75 billion in transactions pass through their service since opening the business.

Looking at the German press, Check24 has been cited as a competitor in the loan marketplace space worth keeping an eye out for.

P2P has seen its sun set over the years with San Francisco-based Lending Club firing its CEO Renaud Laplanche after the company’s board faulted him for approving loans not in line with its terms. The scandal even prompted the UK Financial Conduct Authority to open a general investigation into P2P lending companies.

Smava seems to be part of a more optimistic trend in FinTech, where marketplaces are comparing everything from loans to insurance policies without getting into the mud of actually offering said loans or policies themselves. That saves companies time on regulation, although it keeps them out of the potentially more lucrative market of offering their own plans. Another FinTech startup out of the German-speaking region of Europe, Swiss-based FinanceFox, raised a $28 million Series A funding round two weeks ago for its platform that helps users consolidate and manage their insurance plans. One German company that has waded into this space is

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