Stenn, a London fintech platform, announced that it has raised a $50M equity fund from Centerbridge at a $900M valuation.
The company will use the funds to support marketing, product development, and hiring of the best global talent.
Greg Karpovsky, Founder and CEO of Stenn says, “We are excited to be partnering with an investor of Centerbridge’s calibre and vision. Their funding will enable our next chapter of growth, allowing us to capitalise on our first-mover advantage whilst continuing to meet surging customer demand as we scale our team and proposition.”
What does Stenn solve?
According to a report from Accenture, SMEs globally face a financing gap of $3.6T, which is expected to rise to $6.1T within the next three years.
Even though SMEs conduct more than a quarter of global trade, these businesses have struggled historically to access financing, severely restricting their growth potential.
Karpovsky says, “A lack of access to finance is stunting the growth of SMEs around the world that are engaged in international trade.”
Here’s where UK’s Stenn comes into play.
Addressing the financing gap
Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Greg Karpovsky, Stenn aims to connect international SMEs to the global financial system, helping to bridge the financing gap through an online platform.
The company’s proprietary technology platform uses big data and tailored algorithms to analyse credit, fraud, and compliance risks.
Stenn says it can provide cross-border capital from $10K to $10M to SMEs within 48 hours.
Notably, this capital is provided by some of the largest financial institutions in the world, with Stenn managing the allocation of funds on their behalf.
To date, Stenn has provided over $6B of financing to SMEs in over 70 countries across a range of different sectors, from retail to IT services.
The clients are small and medium-size businesses that trade between one country and another – for example, between China and the United States, India and the UK, or Vietnam and Germany. To date in 2022, its platform has financed over $1B of transactions.
Karpovsky says, “At Stenn, our purpose has always been to level the playing field for global SMEs, helping to plug a multi-trillion-dollar financing gap by connecting these businesses with low-cost institutional capital. Our proprietary platform and data analysis de-risk the process for our banking partners and provides a quick, simple, and low-cost solution for SMEs.”
The company is backed by financial giants like HSBC, Barclays, Natixis, and many others.
Centerbridge Partners is a private investment management firm employing a flexible approach across investment disciplines—private equity, credit, and real estate —in an effort to develop the most attractive opportunities for its investors.
The VC has approximately $33B in capital under management with offices in New York and London.
Jed Hart, Co-Head of Centerbridge’s European business and Senior Managing Director, says, “We have been impressed with Stenn’s disruptive approach to addressing the challenges of global trade finance supply and believe that Stenn has a highly scalable proposition. We are excited to be partnering and supporting Stenn’s growth at an important time in its evolution and during a period of uncertainty in the world.”