SMEs currently face a global financing gap sitting at $3.6 trillion. This is expected to rise to $6.1 trillion within the next three years. Despite SMEs conducting more than a quarter of global trade, these businesses have struggled historically to access financing and this has severely restricted their growth potential.
Enter London-based fintech startup Stenn. Addressing the financing gap, the platform is providing financing to SMEs in over 70 countries across a range of different sectors, from retail to IT services. To date, the platform is shy of financing just a little over $1 billion of transactions.
And now to fuel its growth even further, the digital financing platform has raised $50 million in equity funding from US investor Centerbridge to reach a $900 million valuation.
By using its proprietary technology platform to analyse credit, fraud and compliance risks, the company claims to provide cross-border capital to SMEs within 48 hours. This capital is provided by some of the largest financial institutions in the world, with Stenn managing the allocation of funds on their behalf.
According to Greg Karpovsky, founder and CEO, Stenn, the lack of access to finance is stunting the growth of SMEs around the world. "At Stenn, our purpose has always been to level the playing field for global SMEs, helping to plug a multi-trillion-dollar financing gap by connecting these businesses with low-cost institutional capital. The new funding will enable our next chapter of growth, allowing us to capitalise on our first-mover advantage while continuing to meet surging customer demand as we scale our team and proposition."
Jed Hart, co-head of European business and senior managing director, Centerbridge added: “Stenn’s disruptive approach to addressing the challenges of global trade finance supply is impressive and it has a highly scalable proposition."