EKF enters into crowdlending agreements: Companies will now be able to secure half their funding from EKF
EKF Denmark's Export Credit Agency has signed a new agreement with two of Denmark's largest crowdlending platforms, Flex Funding and Lendino. This means that Danish export businesses applying for loans through these platforms will be able to secure as much as half of the funds from EKF.
Businesses seeking to raise funds from private investors via the Lendino and Flex Funding platforms will now have the option of obtaining up to half of their funding from EKF Denmark's Credit Agency.
This is the outcome of the new agreements between EKF and the two platforms to ensure that Danish export businesses have even better, more diverse access to funding.
EKF will be offering financing on the same terms as other investors, and will be able to invest up to half of the amount applied for, up to a maximum of DKK 5 million. This will significantly increase small business eligibility for private lending.
"EKF's mission is to support Danish export businesses, and we have a particular responsibility towards small and medium-sized enterprises. We therefore take pride in this move to help grow the crowdlending market in Denmark through these new partnerships so that small businesses can benefit from even more options for financing their growth and exports," said Kirstine Damkjær, CEO of EKF.
Owing to EKF's role in supporting Danish exporters, any businesses seeking to raise funds under these agreements will be subject to the requirement for at least 20% of their revenue to be generated by exports; both foreign and domestic.
At Flex Funding, the new partnership is a welcome boost:
"The fact that the Danish Government, represented by EKF, is now going to be supporting funding of small and medium-sized export enterprises via our platform is amazing. The partnership means that with the security of Government backing, we are in a position to double the loan amount, while also ensuring swift and efficient application processing. We have been seeing that many small and medium-sized businesses are finding bank loans slow and hard to come by. This means they have a great need to find alternative financing for their growth and exports. This is also the reason why Flex Funding is achieving rapid growth in facilitating business lending. Besides EKF being a very valuable partner in supporting our own lending business, we also see the agreement as recognition of our crowdlending concept as a modern and efficient means of financing and thereby supporting Danish businesses," said Henrik Vad, CEO of Flex Funding.
Lendino too, keenly welcomes the new agreement:
"We are thrilled that EKF has now fully committed to supporting crowdlending. EKF's entry into our market raises both capital for, and awareness of, crowdlending for the benefit of all the many Danish SMEs that are struggling in the current climate. Obviously, many export sectors are greatly constrained by the COVID-19 restrictions, so there is a great need for these businesses to secure support to help them survive and grow. EKF plays a key role in that and will be doing so even more by offering loans through crowdlending in that it will be able to reach even more businesses through this channel," says Andreas Helgason Rex, managing director and partner at Lendino.
The Danish Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises sees the new partnership as very promising:
"At the Danish Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, we are very grateful that EKF has heard, and responded positively to, our call for it to support crowdlending platforms. With EKF's robust backing, even more SMEs will be able to invest more in export initiatives, and will generally be better placed to boost their financial capacity than in the past. EKF's support for crowdlending to benefit SME trade credit is particularly crucial during the constraints of COVID-19, where SMEs are facing increased uncertainty and struggling to make it through the disruptions. We see EKF's move as a commendation of our Federation's SME lending scheme, SMVerhvervslån, and of the SMEs, with a strong incentive to invest in new export initiatives for the benefit of the nation as a whole", was the comment from Jakob Brandt, President of the Danish Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.
Crowdlending enables businesses to bypass the banks in raising capital. Instead, the businesses take out a loan granted by a group of investors, each of whom invests a share of the total amount.
EKF will now be able to underwrite 50 % of the loan amount applied for, but up to a maximum of DKK 5 million, and for a maximum term of five years.
All loan applicants are credit-rated individually by EKF, and its decisions about EKF co-lending are made on a case-by-case basis.
EKF participates on equal terms with the other lenders.
EKF: Heidi Birgitte Nielsen, Head of External Communications, email@example.com, mobile +45 27204174
Flex Funding: Henrik Vad, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile +45 26 88 89 00
Lendino: Andreas Helgason Rex, Managing Director and Partner, email@example.com, mobile: +45 51353111
Danish Federation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: David Elmer, Communications Director, elmer@SMVdanmark.dk, mobile: +45 53855370