Israeli credit asset manager Viola Credit today announced the closing of a $700 million fund to provide credit lines to fintech companies with platforms across the US, Western Europe, UK, Australia, and New Zealand that disrupt traditional lending sectors. All the money was raised from Israeli institutional investors.
Viola Credit, formerly known as Plenus, was founded in 2000, and is part of the Viola Group. Viola's traditional activity is extending loans for financing operations of startups that don't want to embark on equity financing rounds and are seeking alternative ways to raise money. Viola has been operating in the venture and growth lending through a $200 million fund that it raised in 2017.
Viola Credit has also adopted a strategy of providing credit lines to growing fintech companies over three to four years. In this case the credit is not for the startup's operations but to provide it with available capital for its end customers who need credit of various sorts. For example fintech companies built on a 'buy now and pay later' model, which have become popular in the wake of the Covid pandemic to allow customers to buy goods online or in stores. Viola raised a $160 million fund specializing in this field in 2019.
Viola Credit is led by partners Alex Ginzburg, Ruthi Furman and Ido Vigdor. Investors in the fund, Vigdor said, include banks, insurance companies and investment houses. Credit funds represents a lower risk than equity funds and a fixed income through interest.
Vigdor said, "Our advantage is that we also enter deals involving credit of $20-30 million - an amount that giant institutions like Goldman Sachs don't get involved with. In the first stage we check the ability of the fintech company's underwriting capability for credit and then we price the risk and build a credit line deal."
He added, "Financial services are undergoing transformational shifts. This fintech revolution, driven by acceleration of digital adoption and emergence of new business models, enables new forms of banking experience and consumer financial services, which requires securing of lending capital solutions to support growth. We pride ourselves on partnering with innovative fintech platforms to nurture them as a company, help them build their products, and be an essential part of their go-to-market strategy."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 26, 2022.
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