U.K.-based e-lending startup Ezbob IT Ltd. raised 15 million GBP from Moscow-based private equity firm Da Vinci Capital Management Ltd. at a post money valuation of 100 million GBP (circa $143 million), this person said.
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London-headquartered EZbob offers small businesses online loans, automatically processed and approved on its website. In addition to the EZbob brand, the company also offers loans under the brand Everline which it acquired in 2015. It employs around 40 people according to LinkedIn data in offices in London and in Herzliya, a city in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. In 2015, EZbob raised 10 million GBP from Israel’s Bank Leumi and U.S. based investment firm Oaktree Capital Management L.P.
Ezbob makes direct loans with a gross annual 20%-30% interest, demanding personal guarantees, unlike banks that require securities. Due to high risks, the company recently changed its strategy and by the end of 2016 shifted most of its business towards offering larger banking and investment companies access to its money lending technology, receiving royalty from approved loans.
Last February EZbob signed a collaboration agreement with U.K. based commercial bank NatWest, a subsidiary of Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), allowing the bank to use the company’s digital system for calculating credit risks and making credit-related decisions. Through the system, NatWest offers small and medium U.K. businesses loans with no securities for a period of up to 5 years, and a total sum of up to 150K pounds (circa $214K).
Founded in 2007 Da Vinci Capital is a private equity firm with offices in Moscow and Hong Kong. The firm has $300 million under management.