Koyo raises $50m of debt and equity funding as it bolsters growth plans and sets its sights on the UKs competitive ‘near-prime’ consumer credit market.
- Koyo, a UK based Open Banking powered consumer lender, completed a $50m debt and equity raise
- Force Over Mass led the Series A funding round with participation from Seedcamp, Frontline Ventures and Forward Partners
- Koyo secured debt funding from Atalaya Capital Management, a New York based alternative investment advisory firm
- Koyo is an ‘Open Banking led’ lending platform enabling accurate risk assessment and opening new market segments to affordable credit
- Executive team led by Thomas Olszewski (Founder & CEO), Paul Martin (Head of Risk), Peter Kent (Head of Marketing), Mandy Ellis (Head of Compliance) and Guy Evans (CTO)
Koyo (please link www.koyoloans.com) has closed a Series A funding round led by Force Over Mass with participation from existing investors Forward Partners, Frontline Ventures and Seedcamp. New investors in Koyo include Force Over Mass, Matt Robinson (founder of GoCardless, founder of Nested) and experienced angel investors from the banking and lending sectors.
Koyo was built on the idea that access to affordable credit is something people take for granted but many do not have access to. The Company’s vision is to become a world leader in using alternative data to offer competitively priced financial products.
Koyo services a range of customers using transactional bank data to gain an information advantage relative to incumbents. Many segments of the market, such as thin file customers (short or no credit history) or near prime customers, have very few options when it comes to affordable credit. The near-prime market alone equates to c13-15m people in the UK.
Koyo has changed this pattern, helping thousands of UK-based customers access more affordable credit. With a unique product Koyo can provide customers with competitive rates when they may struggle to find offers elsewhere. MoneySuperMarket, CompareTheMarket, Experian and other large household UK brands now list Koyo on their comparison panels. Hundreds of customers have left positive reviews of the Koyo service on TrustPilot (https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/koyoloans.com).
Koyo launched its consumer loans business in January 2020 at the start of the pandemic in the UK. The pandemic created a challenging lending environment for the consumer credit industry. However, during this time Koyo had a unique opportunity to widen its target market from those who were historically ‘thin-file’, to the larger ‘near-prime’ UK risk segment.
Thomas Olszewski, Koyo’s founder, said, “Koyo launched at the start of the global pandemic and has proven that innovative use of open banking data results in better risk decisioning and ultimately has enabled us to grow the business during one of the toughest economic times the UK has faced. I’m proud to have continued to give many people in the UK access to competitively priced credit, during a time where most traditional lenders were quick to scale back their lending.”
Thomas also quoted, “UK FinTechs have demonstrated that it’s possible to build global champions right here in London. Our incredibly strong growth over the past 18 months has put us alongside some of the fastest growing companies in the world I am excited to see what the coming years have in store for us.”
Filip Coen, Force Over Mass partner, said, “We invest in companies that combine transformational technology with strong business models, and Koyo indexed strongly in both of those departments. Koyo has built a first-class foundation over the last 18 months of operation, and we’re excited to be part of its future”.
Notes to Editors
- Koyo was founded in 2018, by Thomas Olszewski
- Koyo launched to borrowers in January 2020
- Koyo is backed by funds who also invested in Revolut, Transferwise and Zopa
- Koyo is based in Soho, London (although currently many employees work remotely)
- First personal lender to require Open Banking data for all customers
- Koyo is a private direct lender
CEO, Thomas Olszewski – former venture capitalist with Frontline Ventures in London and Cavalry Ventures in Berlin. Hedge Fund Trader Analyst at Verition Fund Management. Previously part of the global software development team at the Nasdaq stock exchange.
CTO, Guy Evans – previously CTO of LendInvest. Former CTO of Interactive Investor. Former CTO of BullionVault. Co-founder iJento.
Head of Marketing, Peter Kent – previously Global Head of Digital Marketing Strategy at Investec Bank. Former marketing acquisition specialist at RateSetter, grew the loanbook from £30m to £1.5bn through multi-channel marketing. Experienced across multiple HealthTech and FinTech businesses.
Head of Credit Risk, Paul Martin – previously Credit Risk Director at Zopa, the world’s first P2P lender, oversaw the loanbook growth from £100m to £1bn. Other senior positions held in credit risk management at large corporate financial services, American Express and Santander Cards, as well as other fintech startups, NewDay & Neyber
Head of Compliance, Mandy Ellis – a Professional Compliance Senior, with extensive experience in the financial service sector including Dollar Financial Group and MyJar.
About Atalaya Capital Management LP
Atalaya Capital Management LP is a privately held, SEC-registered, alternative investment advisory firm. Atalaya primarily focuses on making private credit and special opportunities investments in three principal asset classes – specialty finance, real estate, and corporate. Founded in 2006, Atalaya is headquartered in New York City and has approximately $6 billion in assets under management. For more information visit www.atalayacap.com.