BAWAG Group and Berlin based Fintech Spotcap have formed a strategic partnership to give Austrian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to same-day financing. The partnership is said to be the first time Spotcap will offer its lending platform and proprietary analytics to a bank and marks the launch of its Lending-as-a-Service (LaaS) proposition.
Spotcap currently offers SME lending in the UK, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Spotcap said they will now offer Lending-as-a-Service to major institutions, financial or otherwise. Spotcap expects additional partnerships of this nature will evolve in both new and existing markets.
Spotcap has raised €100 million in funding and is backed by a number of big name investors including Rocket Internet, Finstar Financial Group, Access Industries, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Heartland Bank. Their team currently consists of more than 120 employees globally.
BAWAG Group AG is the holding company of BAWAG P.S.K., which is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with banking subsidiaries easybank and start:bausparkasse in Austria and Südwestbank in Germany. With more than 2.5 million customers, BAWAG P.S.K. is one of Austria’s largest banks operating under a well-recognized national brand.
“We are thrilled to launch our Lending-as-a-Service proposition today, and to enter into a strategic partnership with BAWAG Group to power its SME lending offering in Austria,” commented Jens Woloszczak, Spotcap Founder and CEO. “We continuously invest in our lending platform as well as our state-of-the-art analytics to provide SMEs with the financing needed to run their businesses in the most efficient way. The partnership is a testament to what we have achieved developing and operating a direct lending platform across multiple countries. BAWAG Group’s motivation is to improve its digital offering and further focus on supporting SMEs, coupled with its commitment to partner with best-in-class Fintechs makes the bank an ideal partner to work with under our Lending-as-a-Service proposition.”
BAWAG new lending service will allow the bank to offer a fully digital and automated solution for same-day finance to its SME customers. The partnership will begin with a focused launch for existing BAWAG P.S.K. customers in the first quarter of 2018, before becoming available to all Austrian SMEs.
David O‘Leary, Member of the Managing Board and Head of Retail for BAWAG P.S.K., said this strategic partnership with Spotcap is another step in their digital roadmap to offer best in class products whether they are built in house or outsourced via partnerships;
“After an intensive review of the global alternative lending market, we selected Spotcap, on the strength of its technology and analytics. We have made it our aim not only to make banking easier, but also better for our customers. With this in mind, our new offering will be a leap forward for our SME customers and SME owners in Austria, as they can focus on managing and growing their businesses rather than spending significant time securing financing. As the partnership evolves, both parties will consider ways to offer additional value-add financial services to SMEs in the greater DACH region.”
Woloszczak said that traditional players and Fintechs need to think collaboration, not competition. By working together they can better serve SMEs and offer them solutions best suited to their needs.