A new debt facility turbocharges Zvilo’s ability to scale its supplier lending for SMEs in the Balkans.
Zvilo, the credit-led digital bank for the Balkans and emerging markets, has today announced it has secured a debt facility of €50m from Fasanara Capital — an independent, owner-managed alternative asset management company. This follows its announcement that terms had been signed earlier in the year.
This debt facility will allow Zvilo to rapidly scale and subsequently expand its provision of working capital for the 800,000+* SMEs situated in the Balkans. This is vital, as even before the surge in energy costs, c.40%* of SMEs in the Balkans sought loans to expand their operations. However, high collateral requirements in the Balkans (almost 200%* of loan value) make financing inaccessible, particularly for SMEs. An alternative financial provider like Zvilo is needed now more than ever as the higher cost of energy is making it harder for SMEs to maintain their liquidity and run a sustainable business, not to mention the increased cost of inputs for those who import and are in production.
Admir Imami, Chairman of Zvilo, commented: “The heart of our business proposition is to dramatically transform the financial landscape of the SMEs in the Balkans by providing short-term working capital facilities without the need of traditional collateral and paper trails that SMEs are currently subject to.
“We aim to offer bridge capital to those businesses seeking to finance trade flows originating in and from the Balkans; all automated through Zvilo’s proprietary platform, which combines scale and accessibility from the outset.”
Shahem Samain, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of Zvilo added: “Over the past year Zvilo has made huge strides forward in delivering for businesses in the Balkans. Not only have we secured our lending (factoring) license from the Central Bank of Kosovo, but we also have a digital finance solution available for the tens of thousands of SMEs who need help, especially now given the constraints related to the increase of the cost of energy.
Francesco Filia, CEO at Fasanara Capital, commented: “We have a long history in providing working capital financing solutions to SMEs globally, ensuring companies can make seamless, sustainable, and quicker funding decisions. Zvilo is a start-up making waves in a region where traditional banking models rule.
“We believe in Zvilo’s proposition and their promise to transform the way local SMEs can raise business finance through its platform. We are glad to be part of their journey and support their vision.”
“We are delighted to have secured this facility given it is a huge endorsement of our management and the willingness of the international investor community to back the team and invest in the Balkan market. Our accessible, seamless, and sustainable funding solution will help these SMEs with the liquidity required to reach their pre-Covid trading levels while also taking advantage of our digital financial product offering,” concluded Mr Imami.
Notes to editors
About Fasanara Capital
Fasanara Capital is an independent, owner-managed alternative asset management company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Co-founded by Francesco Filia in 2011, Fasanara is based in London with alliance offices in Milan. Fasanara offers access to a range of inventive multi-asset capacity-constrained niche products. Fasanara’s unorthodox portfolio construction and unconventional investment strategy is a response to today’s transformational markets.
Zvilo is a credit-led digital bank for the Balkans and emerging markets, offering low fees and providing seamless connectivity and accessible credit. Zvilo will be the first of its kind in the Western Balkans, its first market, where users have limited access to credit and are subject to the highest banking fees in Europe. Through innovative solutions, Zvilo plans to increase financial inclusivity for the 21 million Balkan people, also providing financial literacy to the c.40% that remains unbanked. Zvilo is set to become the leading digital financial platform offering both business and personal products through its dedicated app.
*Sources: doi.org/10.1787/g2g9fa9a-en; ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/32581/attachments/5/translations/en/renditions/nativ; World Bank Enterprise Surveys, www.enterprisesurveys.org