Stockholm-based small business lending platform Qred has received a significant investment from Nordic Capital. While the exact financials were not disclosed, Sweden’s Breakit.se reports, “Nordic Capital invests just over half a billion kronor in a transaction that values the entire Qred to more than 1 billion kronor.” Converted to today’s midmarket rates, these figures would equate to an investment of €49 million and a valuation of more than €98 million.
Founded in 2015, Qred is addressing the large and growing demand for small business loans that big banks have failed to capture. Offering a fully automated credit system, Qred provides growth-stage startups with “innovative solutions” to access capital.
The service has been primarily active in the Nordics and the Netherlands, working with some 25,000 small businesses over the past 6 years, while 2020 saw an entry into the Brazilian market via a joint venture with Webrock. Qred currently counts approximately 12,000 monthly active users.
Having lured former Senior Product Manager Marcus Uggla from Klarna back in June, the company recently launched a credit card aimed at small businesses. Presumably, this is just a first, as the company reports that a broadened product range is an integral part of its growth strategy.
According to a statement, Nordic Capital will become a “significant shareholder in the company, while the current founder and management will remain as majority owners.” Again, while no official details were disclosed, according to Breakit’s source, “Nordic Capital buys out several of the smaller owners at the same time as they enter with expansion capital.”
“By identifying a new market segment and combining it with leading technology, the company has opened the door for many small businesses to grow and realise their dreams. Studies show that lack of financing is one of the biggest challenges for small businesses, while funds lent to small businesses can considerably increase GDP growth, the creation of new jobs and significant extra tax revenues,” commented Nordic Capital’s David Samuelson.