LONDON – December 4th, 2017 – Digital micro-lender, Oakam today announced that it has secured a £35 million debt investment from Victory Park Capital Advisors, LLC (VPC), an investment firm focused on private middle market debt and equity investments. To date Oakam has disbursed £320 million to help financially excluded consumers gain access to credit. The funds raised will enable Oakam accelerate its lending activity in the UK by more than 180 percent year on year and continue to disrupt the global micro-lending industry.
“Consumer credit has long been broken for those at the bottom. With 12 million financially excluded consumers in the UK alone, there is a significant opportunity for Oakam to fill the large unmet need for better, more accessible and affordable credit,” said Frederic Nze, CEO and Founder, Oakam. “Our new partnership with VPC will enable us to further fulfil our mission of transforming and empowering lives through a fair and inclusive service.”
Oakam is providing a vital service to underserved communities who otherwise struggle to access the funds they need to manage immediate financial obligations and improve long-term financial health. Despite growing digital disruption in financial services, dominant players in the micro-lending sector have been slower to innovate. Oakam is primed to win market share from incumbents in the UK and abroad with its digital-first model that captures the potential of smartphone technology to enhance the customer experience, drive operational efficiency, and better predict and manage risk in micro-lending.
Its digital-first approach and use of alternative data in its underwriting process has enabled Oakam to evaluate more applicants at a lower cost than traditional doorstep lenders. The company has built a strong track record of growth in the last decade since its launch in 2006, and its loan application levels have grown by 300 percent in 2017 to date. The new facility from VPC will enable Oakam to continue capturing this rising demand nationally and abroad, at a time when traditional models such as doorstep lending are facing mounting operational hurdles.
“Oakam’s model in micro-finance that captures the value of a digital approach without overlooking the role of human interaction has enabled the team to break into a highly competitive market,” said Gordon Watson, Partner, Victory Park Capital. “Our investment follows a long-standing track record at VPC of supporting fintech companies scale and provide financing where traditional means fall short. We look forward to supporting Oakam’s continued growth.”
Financial Technology Partners served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Oakam on this transaction.
Everyone needs a hand. Whether to jump start a new business idea or cover an unexpected expense, Oakam is making a new future possible for every hard-working individual. Providing access to straightforward credit and digital budgeting tools, Oakam empowers those overlooked by traditional lenders to build their financial futures. We make accessing and managing credit more convenient and rewarding than ever through our mobile app. All the while, we keep finances personal through our UK retail network where you’ll have someone to talk to in your native language. Since inception, Oakam has disbursed over 420,000 loans totalling £320 million to help consumers get back on the credit ladder or access their first loan. For more information, visit www.oakam.com, download our app from the App Store or Google Play, or read our customer reviews on Trustpilot.
About Victory Park Capital
Victory Park Capital Advisors, LLC (VPC) is an investment firm with a focus on alternative credit and a commitment to delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns and capital preservation for its clients. VPC provides privately negotiated debt and equity capital solutions to small and middle market companies across a wide range of industries. We target fundamentally sound businesses in need of liquidity and/or capital structure transformation and often take a leadership role in the financial restructuring process. VPC’s offerings leverage the firm’s special situations and credit structuring expertise and differentiated deal origination capabilities. The firm was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Chicago, with resources in New York and Los Angeles. VPC is privately held and a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC. For more information, visit: www.victoryparkcapital.com.
About FT Partners
FT Partners is the only investment banking firm focused exclusively on providing strategic and financial advisory services to clients and CEOs in the dynamic global financial services and technology sector. For more, visit www.ftpartners.com.