iwoca, which provides short-term loans to online retailers based in the UK, announced today that it has raised £5 million (about $8.2 million) from Global Founders Capital, a new private investment fund launched by the Samwer brothers of Rocket Internet fame, and Luxembourg-based. All of iwoca’s existing investors> also returned for the current round, which brings the total iwoca has raised so far to about £7 million (about $11.5 million). The startup, which is based in London, says it will use its latest funding to scale up its UK operations and expand into Europe.
In a statement, iwoca co-founder and CEO Christoph Reich said that the new investment will allow his company to provide short-term financing to 5,000 more small businesses in the UK in 2014. The investment will also give iwoca the opportunity to leverage the Samwer brothers’ experience in building high-growth businesses.
Their investment in iwoca is interesting because Berlin-based Rocket Internet has focused lately on pouring funds into e-commerce startups in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. But although retail sales in Europe have slowed since the 2008 global financial crisis, there are signs that consumers in the U.K. are now more willing to open their pocketbooks as the economy gradually recovers. E-commerce businesses in the U.K. were expected to reach a total sales value of £87 billion in 2013, representing 12 percent year-over-year growth, according to research firms IMRG and Capgemini.
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E-Commerce Business Lender iwoca Raises $8.2M To Expand In The UK And Europe