Small- to medium-sized (SMB) lender 365 Business Finance has raised 55 million pounds ($74 million) in debt and equity financing to fund its goal of quadrupling lending by 2023.
The equity round was led by Kendal Capital, the global specialty finance investment firm, while the debt facility was concluded with Pollen Street Capital, the London-based alternative investment management company.
London-based 365 Business Finance said demand for its cash advance services has more than doubled since the start of COVID-19.
“With fully automated repayments, a flexible repayments solution and service unmatched in our sector, we’ve positioned ourselves as the go-to alternative finance provider,” said Andrew Raphaely, 365 Business Finance managing director.
The company’s proprietary technology platform and automated collections processes have enabled it to maintain market-leading credit performance and reach record levels of origination, the company said. 365 Business Finance offers up to 300,000 pounds ($404,000) to SMBs the U.K. Repayments are automated and align with sales, with no fixed repayments or set repayment period.
Europe saw record numbers of private equity deals last year, with nearly 7,200 transactions closed worth 754.5 billion euros ($856 billion), according to data from PitchBook, the private and public capital market data software firm.
Those figures were significantly higher than the previous 2019 record of 4,566 closed deals and the 2018 record of 498.2 billion euros ($565 billion) in deal value.
“2021 was the best environment for PE deal making ever, characterized by strong leveraged lending markets, willing sellers, heightened dry powder and massive stimulus,” the report said, adding that widespread government fiscal injections and vaccines across Europe also helped to keep economies and markets in the region relatively stable.