OAlthough the corona crisis significantly increases the risks in lending, the credit marketplace Auxmoney can announce the largest financing round for a German fintech this year. The New York investment company Centerbridge is investing 150 million euros in the Düsseldorf company, and by taking over shares of some early investors, it becomes the majority owner. Several existing venture capitalists such as Index Ventures, Union Square Ventures and Foundation Personal-Financial.com as well as the entire management remain on board, as Auxmoney boss and co-founder Raffael Johnen in an interview with F.A.Z. stressed. Johnen did not want to comment on the evaluation resulting from the financing round.
The entry comes at a time that is critical for the credit platforms, which have grown strongly in recent years. After all, they specialize in matching investors with borrowers who cannot get credit from a traditional bank. “We are not seeing a significant increase in our default rates, even though we also offer many loans to self-employed and freelancers,” says Johnen. But it is certainly too early for a final judgment. He expects increasing default rates in the credit market in the fourth quarter.
“Everyone involved in the credit market now has to prove that they have good long-term risk models and that their defaults will not increase excessively.” Johnen expects a consolidation in the market for credit platforms. With the new investor behind them, the people of Düsseldorf feel they are in a position to play an active role in such mergers. “Together we are pursuing the goal of developing Auxmoney into a leading digital loan provider in Europe,” says Johnen. And Maximilian Rinke, Managing Director of Centerbridge, can be quoted as saying: “We see great growth potential for Auxmoney, which we want to realize together.”
Auxmoney says it has brokered loans totaling two billion euros since it was founded. Last year alone, according to Johnen, it was around 700 million euros. In the Corona crisis, however, the company cut back new business sharply, as Johnen says, without giving exact figures. Competitors such as the listed Creditshelf recently reported reluctance among investors to provide money for such loans. Johnen says: “What we want to convey, we can cover well with the offer of our investors.”
“IPO is conceivable”
Through the contacts from Centerbridge, Johnen hopes that the credit volume that can be granted via Auxmoney will be five or even tenfold. In addition to its private equity business, Centerbridge also operates a platform for non-performing loans. The investment at Auxmoney has nothing to do with that, assures Johnen. “We are well financed through the round. In the long term, an IPO is also conceivable. ”In America, Centerbridge has just brought its Gohealth stake to the Nasdaq.