Dutch Founders Fund, ff Venture Capital, and Plug & Play Ventures also joined the round after participating in the startup’s pre-seed funding round last February. The pre-seed round managed to raise €4.1M.
The seed round was oversubscribed and closed after 10 weeks of opening. Dutch Founders Fund doubled its investment in the latest fundraising.
The UK startup says it will use the additional funds to fuel growth, especially in its home market, and enhance the platform’s functionalities. Kennek is also looking to expand to Europe after signing a new client there.
“We’ve received some fantastic client feedback to date – my personal favourite was a lender saying that ‘the Kennek platform is life changing.’ We are excited to use this fundraise to further develop our offering, broaden our reach and get feedback like that from hundreds more lenders. This is just the beginning,” says Thibault Lancksweert, co-founder of Kennek.
Enhancing efficiency with SaaS offering
Established in 2021, Kennek aims to reduce the complexity and inefficiency in the operations of non-bank lenders. Despite the continuously evolving technology, many lenders still rely on unconnected data and tools.
This situation leads to soaring operating costs and lengthy service time. Kennek provides solutions to tackle this problem via its SaaS offering.
“Lenders are really just at the start of the digitalisation journey. Kennek is here to help accelerate that journey and provide them with the tools to capitalise on the growth of the non-bank lending space,” says Xavier De Pauw, co-founder of Kennek.
“Until Kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built Kennek to make them a thing of the past,” De Pauw adds.
Kennek says its ingenious platform provides a “single point of truth” for lending firms, borrowers and investors. The platform covers various aspects of lender operations, from loan underwriting to monitoring. It also helps lenders generate reports for their investors.
“One of the unique things about the Kennek platform is that it can cater for all different types of B2B loans: bridge & development loans, SME term loans, R&D and grant advances… to name just a few. And we’re seeing strong demand across the board,” says Lancksweert.
Rapid growth of private credit market
Kennek’s successful fundraising happened amid the rapidly growing private credit sector, with the global market hitting the $1.5T (€1.4T) mark by the end of last year. This rapid development is enhanced by tighter regulatory capital requirements for banks.
However, at the same time, the high-interest rate environment has led to more debt defaults. In Europe, authorities have tightened regulations for lenders in the private credit market to maintain the region’s financial stability.
It creates a more challenging situation for alternative lending firms, prompting them to boost operational efficiency to roll out credit programmes to customers more easily. Solutions provided by startups like Kennek are necessary to navigate this environment.
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space,” says Barbod Namini, partner at HV Capital.
“It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole,” he adds.