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EU supports over EUR 50m for businesses in the UK following EIF and Orange Money (Ezbob) agreement

    Date: 19 March 2015
  • New portfolio of loans generated, worth up to GBP 40m (EUR 56m)
  • 3,000 SMEs to benefit from transaction

 The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Orange Money Ltd (trading as Ezbob) have signed the first loan guarantee agreement in the UK under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). This is the first agreement with an online SME lender under COSME and will allow Orange Money (Ezbob) to substantially increase their loan volumes to SMEs by supporting a new portfolio of loans worth up to GBP 40m (EUR 56m) over the next two years. Over 3,000 companies are expected to benefit from this EU support. 

Commenting on the agreement, EIF Head of EU Guarantee Facilities, Gunnar Mai said: “I am delighted to be signing our first guarantee agreement with an SME online lender in Europe under the COSME Programme. The GBP 40m (EUR 56m) of new loan finance for UK entrepreneurs from Orange Money (Ezbob) will help to create jobs at a time when access to finance continues to be a pressing issue for the UK as well as European economy.”

Tomer Guriel, CEO, Orange Money Ltd, commented: “We are thrilled to be announcing our agreement with the European Investment Fund. This news, cements our commitment to the UK market and our dedication to support small businesses.

“We have already lent to 690 companies  under the European Progress Microfinance Facility. The complementary COSME agreement demonstrates the success of the inital scheme, and enables us to provide funding to an additional 3,000 UK small businesses, helping them to sustain and fuel growth.”

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 435 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.

About Orange Money Ltd

Orange Money Ltd is the first online SME lender to be an approved financial intermediary for the European Investment Fund (EIF), and it is supported by the UK Government backed Angel CoFund. Orange Money Ltd’s recent acquisition of Everline has created the biggest business e-lender in Europe, having collectively provided over 5,000 business working capital loans and lent over £54 million since their inception in 2012. SMEs wishing to apply for finance under the COSME programme can directly contact Orange Money on the following websites: Everline.com and http://www.ezbob.com

About COSME Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF)

COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020. COSME (mobilises loans and equity investments to SMEs in Europe. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) funds guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance mainly up to EUR 150,000 to SMEs. This facility also includes securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios. The COSME programme also invests through the COSME Equity Facility for Growth (EFG) in equity funds that provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013) which helped to mobilise more than EUR 18 billion of loans and EUR 3 billion of venture capital to over 350,000 SMEs in Europe.

Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to get access to EU financing: www.access2finance.eu.

Press Contacts:

  • EIF: David Yormesor, tel : +352 42 66 88 346 , e-mail : d.yormesor@eif.org
  • Orange Money Ltd (Ezbob/Everline): Emma Harvey, 0044 7976 635 366, emma@everline.com


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