French startup Prêt d’Union just raised $34 million (€31 million) from Eurazeo, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet as well as its existing investors. Prêt d’Union is a European online credit marketplace that matches lenders and borrowers without any financial institution in-between. You can call it a sort of Lending Club for Europe.
For now, the startup is only available in France, but it’s looking to expand to other European countries in the coming months probably in the eurozone as there are a lot of competitors in the U.K. already. The company has managed $220 million in loans so far and is growing by 6 percent month over month. It is still way less than the billions of dollars of loans managed by Lending Club. But France is a smaller market, and so far nobody has cracked the European market to create a unified lending platform with loans priced in euros.
Crédit Mutuel Arkea, Schibsted, AG2R La Mondiale, Webeer Investissements and Kima Ventures also participated in today’s round. 80 people now work for Prêt d’Union. It’s an important milestone for both Prêt d’Union and the peer-to-peer lending industry.
Prêt d’Union has a great advantage compared to British and American competitors. As the startup is based in France, it had to go through all the process to get a lending license in France. And this license will make it much easier to expand to other eurozone countries. In comparison, Lending Club or Zopa can’t expand to European countries as easily. Prêt d’Union could even be a nice acquisition target for the big established lending platforms to foster external growth.