Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo, through its venture capital unit Neva Finventures, has bought a minority stake in the UK-based digital SME lender iwoca.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The iwoca technology will be first rolled out to the clients of the Italian group in Central Eastern Europe, with a broader roll-out expected later. It is currently active in the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany and has supported over 25,000 deals since its inception in 2012.

The platform, Intesa said, supports quick approval of loans of up to €100,000.

Intesa chief innovation officer Maurizio Montagnese said: “Investing in iwoca is of strategic importance to us in that it strengthens the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s position in the area of new business models, and specifically in highly innovative digital financial services.

“The industrial synergies between iwoca and Intesa Sanpaolo could be significant in the coming years and allow the Intesa Sanpaolo Group to enter segments of the market not served by other banks.”

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By GlobalData