Caple, a European provider of alternative credit for small to medium-sized companies, has received backing from BNP Paribas.
The asset manager has purchased a 10 per cent stake in the business through its incubation fund; however, the financial details of the deal remains undisclosed.
While SMEs contribute significantly to economic growth and job creation, they remain under-served by the financial markets. Caple facilitates access to alternative credit for SMEs, working with international institutional investors to address gaps in the funding landscape.
BNPP AM said the partnership is part of the establishment of its SME Advanced Solutions platform, a recently-launched initiative within its Private Debt & Real Assets investment group.
The platform will source loans across multiple origination channels in Europe, including banks and FinTechs, and distribute them to institutional investors such as pension funds and insurance companies. It will operate within a robust credit risk framework and focus on senior unsecured fixed rate loans of between €0.5m and €5m, initially targeting SMEs in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
Stéphane Blanchoz, head of SME Advanced Solutions at BNP Paribas, said the alliance combines the needs of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s investors with Caple’s expertise as an originator of SME loans
“The trend towards disintermediation and the growing need for SME funding creates opportunities for lending platforms, such as SME Advanced Solutions, that can offer alternative credit as a complementary source of finance alongside traditional bank lending”, he added.
“Meanwhile, as institutional investors look to diversify their portfolios and generate higher levels of return than are available in public fixed income markets, they are increasingly attracted to the enhanced yields potentially available from SME lending.”
Earlier this year, BNP Paribas acquired a 95% stake in neo-banking startup Compte-Nickel’s parent company Financière des Paiements Électroniques. BNP Paribas also backed compliance startup Fortia Financial Solutions.
Fortia was founded in 2012 and aims to use intelligence, machine learning and business process monitoring to help the fund industry meet compliance requirements and manage data.
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