ING backs FinCompare, the German comparison platform for SME financing

FinCompare, the German fintech startup that offers a comparison platform for SME financing, has closed €10 million in Series A funding. The round is led by ING Ventures, the venture capital arm of dutch bank ING. The company’s previous backers Speedinvest, and UNIQA Ventures also followed on.

The comparison site currently only operates in Germany and since entering the market in February 2017 says it has attracted more than 2,500 customers and has processed more than one billion Euros. The new capital will be used by FinCompare  to invest in its IT platform, including expanding the team, and for further European expansion.

The FinCompare platform itself follows a pretty traditional price comparison model, letting small to medium-sized businesses find, compare and even close a variety of financing options such as credit, leasing, factoring and finetrading. The products on offer are from more than 200 banks, alternative financial service providers, and development banks online.

The comparison platform claims to be independent, even if — like most comparison sites — FinCompare receives a kick back for any brokered loan or other financing solution in the form of commission from its financing partners. The fintech is also keen to talk up its independence in light of backing from ING Ventures, noting that remaining neutral in terms of the products it pushes is essential for any comparison platform.

ING’s investment in FinCompare is being positioned as part of the bank’s wider digitalization strategy: “ING Ventures was founded with the aim to invest in fintechs who establish a unique customer experience. Further, the investment in FinCompare enables us to expand our presence in the SME-segment in Germany,” says Benoit Legrand, CEO of ING Ventures.

Legrand also says the German SME industry is among the most attractive in Europe. “Here we can set incentives together with FinCompare and make life easier for businesses. This investment helps ING in the implementation of the bank’s strategy to become the market-leading platform for financing needs,” he adds.

Meanwhile, I understand FinCompare’s planned European expansion will see it eye up the german speaking markets of Austria and Switzerland during the next few months. Netherlands and Poland are also on the list, along with the U.K. “We are planning to launch in the U.K. in 2019, perhaps even through an acquisition,” FinCompare founder and CEO Stephan Heller tells me. Competitors in the U.K. include Fundingoptions, and Capitalise.