European SME lending platform October has secured €35 million to finance European SMEs.

We are proud to announce a €35 million commitment from the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Dutch impact investor Invest-NL dedicated to SMEs financing.

A renewed trust

“This renewed commitment for October testifies not only to the track record of this fund manager, but also to the goals that the EIF shares with its clients.” says Marjut Falkstedt, Managing Director of the European Investment Fund.

The EIF is investing an additional €20 million, while Invest-NL, a Dutch impact investor, is committing €15 million. This is the fourth EIF commitment via October. These commitments provide October with €100 million to finance SMEs. Over the next two years, we expect to lend more than 3000 loans to European SMEs for an estimated total of €400 million.

This investment will offer a diversified portfolio, deployed across 5 countries, in more than 15 different sectors. Thanks to October’s scoring and fraud detection tools, these loans offer a unique risk/return profile, particularly attractive in a volatile environment.

ESG X-Ray, the key to analyzing new loans

“With this investment, the EIF continues to support European SMEs via the October platform. Key to this new fund is our data-driven ESG X-Ray module, to integrate ESG criteria in our investment process without burdening SMEs with additional paperwork.” says Patrick de Nonneville, CEO at October.

Our October SME V fund, through which EIF and InvestNL invest, is labelled SFDR Article 8. In short, the creation of our ESG X-Ray tool, as well as the implementation of SFDR-compliant reporting, enabled us to be classified as a fund that “promotes environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives”.

What is ESG X-Ray? We integrate a systematic ESG risk and impact analysis into our lending process using October’s data and technology. This ESG X-Ray report is key to the lending decision. These questions are naturally integrated into the simplified loan process and do not require any administrative effort from the borrower.

We adopt an investment strategy supporting the creation and protection of jobs and positive environmental and social outcomes. Our ESG X-Ray reporting encourages SME managers to become more aware of sustainable development and to take concrete actions that are taken into account when establishing this score. This can include job creation, diversity in recruitment, initiatives to minimize environmental impact, and better governance practices… And to take it a step further, at October, good ESG performance rewards companies with a bonus on the interest rate.

By investing once again in October’s SME V fund, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and Invest NL are making the choice to support promising companies and projects which will have a real impact on employment, development and innovation. Many thanks for their trust!

Read the full CP here