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#TrustBuddy + #Lendico ?

p2p-banking.com reports that German P2P Lending Service Lendico recently raised 20M EUR from Rocket Internet, Access Industries, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and a new investor. Lendico will use the raised capital to further develop the p2p loan and SME loan service and to invest in the marketplace technology and the team.

We have won another experienced strategic partner, who will join Lendico as a long-term investor. Together we share the belief that in order to originate loans to consumers and businesses in future banks are no longer needed”, said Lendico CEO Dominik Steinkühler (original statement in German). “To have strong funding is an important strategic advantage in a fast growing market environment. Lendico will use the momentum and strengthen its position as a leading international marketplace lender. Together with our investors we will continue to work on breaking the predominance of banks and offer a better alternative to make loans to consumers and businesses.”

Oliver Samwer, CEO Rocket Internet SE stated: „We build Lendico as a digital alternative to banks, when it comes to more affordable and faster loans for businesses and consumers. In the Fintech sector we are at the beginning of a development that we already experienced in E-Commerce: Incumbents are outpaced by new digital players. With Lendico we actively push ahead this process.”

Lendico did not comment on the identity of the new investor. According to p2p-banking.com, unconfirmed sources say that the London hedge fund Arrowgrass Capital invested. Arrowgrass was founded in February 2008 and is already invested in Zopa and TrustBuddy.

Following the complete collapse of TrustBuddy’s share price this year, the market cap has come down to around SEK 110m, or ca. EUR 12m. What’s more, the sharp decline is in complete contrast to what is going on operationally for TrustBuddy, given the stellar success of its P2P SME subsidiary Geldvoorelkaar. We believe that TrustBuddy must have become a target for any P2P player that wants to expand both into the SME business and/or into the Nordic region. Given the connection between Arrowgrass and TrustBuddy and now most likely also Arrowgrass and Lendico it does not seem too far-fetched that there could be discussions going on. TrustBuddy would make sense for Lendico from a strategic point of view and with the recent funding they have the warchest to go for such an acquisition. Furthermore, Rocket Internet has rather deep pockets, should they decide to make an offer for TrustBuddy at some stage. We continue to argue that TrustBuddy’s Geldvoorelkaar-business is worth at least SEK 1,50 per share on a stand-alone-base. This compares to a current share price of SEK 0,26 for TrustBuddy as a whole.

Nordic Investor

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