Intesa Sanpaolo Group partners with fintech lender iwoca to drive innovation in SME lending

iwoca, one of Europe’s fastest growing SME lenders, and Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, are partnering to provide Intesa’s SME clients with innovative credit products to bridge the funding gap and support growth in this key section of the economy.

The partnership will leverage iwoca’s market leading SME lending platform and Intesa’s expertise in building banking operations across Italy, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The strategic partnership coincides with an investment in iwoca by Neva Finventures, Intesa Sanpaolo’s fintech venture capital arm.

Christoph Rieche, co-founder and CEO of iwoca, said: “To date, iwoca has been able to support over 10,000 small businesses with operations across the UK and mainland Europe. We are excited that Intesa Sanpaolo recognised the value of the technology we’ve built and will use it as part of their SME lending operations in the future.”

“Partnering with Neva Finventures and Intesa Sanpaolo is an exciting opportunity to leverage our SME lending technology platform across new credit products and regions while working with one of the most forward-thinking and expansive banking groups in Europe.”

Maurizio Montagnese, Chief Innovation Officer at the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, said: “Investing in iwoca is of strategic importance to us in that it strengthens the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s position in the area of new business models, and specifically in highly innovative digital financial services. The industrial synergies between iwoca and Intesa Sanpaolo could be significant in the coming years and allow the Intesa Sanpaolo Group to enter segments of the market not served by other banks.”

Alternative lenders now represent a crucial lever for economic growth as traditional banks struggle to provide small businesses with the funding they need. Having lent over £200 million across 28,000 transactions since launch in 2012, iwoca is one of the fastest growing business credit providers in Europe. iwoca has now supported over 10,000 businesses across the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany.

iwoca is transforming small business lending by offering flexible credit facilities to the millions of SMEs that are underserved by banks. Its technology-driven risk platform draws on thousands of data points to make faster, fairer credit decisions, allowing iwoca to lend a small business up to £100,000 within hours. With over 28,000 transactions since its launch in 2012, iwoca is one of the fastest growing business credit providers in Europe. iwoca operates across the UK and mainland Europe. iwoca is a founding member of Innovate Finance, the world’s first industry body for Fintech.

Over the past 18 months iwoca has been selected as the ‘Best Alternative Commercial Lender, ‘Innovative Lender of the Year’ and ‘Best Data & Analytics Technology’ at the UK’s Credit Awards.
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Intesa Sanpaolo is among the top banking groups in the euro zone, with a market capitalisation of 42.7 billion euro (1). The Group is the leader in Italy in all business areas (retail, corporate, and wealth management) and offers its services to 11.1 million customers through a network of over 3,900 branches well distributed throughout the country with market shares no lower than 12% in most Italian regions. Intesa Sanpaolo has a selected presence in Central Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern and North African areas with over 1,100 branches and 7.7 million customers belonging to the Group’s subsidiaries operating in commercial banking in 12 countries.

(1) As at 31 May 2017

Neva Finventures SpA is the venture capital arm of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, the largest Italian bank by market capitalisation with operations in Italy, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It is dedicated to fintech investments in the United States, Europe and Israel. It will invest in fintech startups with disruptive new business models for the industry. Startups will receive not only capital, but also the opportunity to grow with Intesa through creative partnerships.