The Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) has announced its intention to invest 15 million euros in the fund launched by fintech October, in order to support the growth of Spanish SMEs. October is the first fintech that the FOND-ICO Pyme has invested in.
ICO thus joins other European public institutions that already support October to promote alternative financing for European SMEs, such as its counterpart in France, the Banque publique d'investissement (Bpifrance) and the European Investment Fund. (EIF).
The multiplier effect generated through this instrument will result in an injection of over 45 million euros to Spanish companies.
"ICO's support, through Axis, strengthens our sector and consolidates our leadership as a lending platform in the Spanish market. ICO is a fundamental pillar in the development of the Spanish economy. Its trust allows us to continue fulfilling our mission of promoting SMEs' growth, simplifying and democratising their financing. Axis is a demanding investor and, following their example, we trust that other Spanish institutional investors will join this revolution," says Grégoire de Lestapis, CEO of October Spain.
ICO's President José Carlos García de Quevedo, indicates that "one of the Instituto de Crédito Oficial's objectives is to promote complementary and innovative funding sources for Spanish companies and to help them in their digitisation process. Technology is making financing increasingly accessible to companies, and innovative solutions, such as the one offered by the October inclusive participating platform, are proof of this."
100 million for SMEs
To support European companies, October has a hybrid investment model. As a participating loan platform, fintech has a community of 20,000 private investors who make loans starting at €20 to European SMEs through a mobile app. However, October's financial strength is its investment funds, which automatically participate in all presented projects and are supported by public institutional investors, private institutional investors and October's own managers.
This month, October launches its fourth investment fund, registered in the CNMV, and investors have already committed over 100 million euros.
ICO's 15 million will be accompanied by a new contribution from Bpifrance, as well as from the European Investment Fund, which have been financing SMEs through the October platform since 2017. In total, October has financed over 800 companies for a total of 400 million euros.
In addition, private institutional investors include several European insurance companies, family offices and asset managers, such as CNP Assurances and Zencap, who have renewed their support with October.
October was created in 2014 as a technological platform to democratise and streamline loans to SMEs. It launched in the Spanish market in 2016 when it obtained the licence from the CNMV to operate. To date, 100 Spanish companies have been financed by institutional and private investors.
About October October was created in France in October 2014, under the name of Lendix. Our mission is to enable companies to prosper by simplifying and democratising their financing, while offering investors the opportunity to get more out of their savings. October launched in Spain in October 2016 after obtaining the CNMV licence to operate. Since then, Fintech has loaned to 100 companies in Spain. In 2018, October signed a collaboration agreement with Liberbank to offer complementary financing to the bank's clients and, in 2019, October concluded an agreement with neo-bank BNext to promote open banking and investment. October operates in France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.
About ICO / Axis AXIS is the venture capital company 100% owned by ICO. It has been operating in the venture capital market for over 30 years and makes capital and quasi-capital instruments available to companies to finance their growth. AXIS currently manages three funds: FOND-ICO Pyme, which offers long-term support to companies in their expansion and growth plans, through direct investment, in co-investment with other professional investors or indirectly through funds; Fond ICO Global, a private capital fund of funds that preferentially invests in Spanish companies, at all stages of their development; and ICO Infrastructure Fund, which mainly aims to invest in transport, energy and environment and social infrastructures.