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Santander Follows Goldman Sachs With Bet on Berlin Fintechs

Stephan Kahl
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Santander Follows Goldman Sachs With Bet on Berlin Fintechs

(Bloomberg) -- Berlin-based fintech firm CrossLend has found a new prominent investor in Banco Santander SA.

The Spanish lender is leading a 35 million euros ($39 million) funding round for the digital debt market place, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The investment is set to help CrossLend to enter new markets.

The new money brings the firms valuation to over 100 million euros for the first time, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not be identified because the information is private.

Founded in 2014, CrossLend provides a marketplace for consumer loans and other forms of debt originated by banks. Buyers are institutional investors such as banks, investment funds and insurance companies.

Foreign investors like Santander have recently increased their bets on German fintechs. Investments in the firms reached a record in 2018, topping 1 billion euros for the first time, according to data by Barkow Consulting. After the first six months of this year, investments already stand at around 900 million euros with the first quarter seeing the highest inflows ever.

One of the most active foreign investors in Berlin, where many German fintech firms are located, was Goldman Sachs Group Inc. this year.

In May, the U.S. bank led a funding round for Berlin-based Elinvar which was founded by former Deutsche Bank AG employees and has built a digital platform to enable lenders to offer their services online. Two month later, it invested 25 million euros in Raisin, an internet platform allowing users to compare bank-savings products.

Santander also invested in Berlin-based Bonify which operates a personal finance app.

(Bonify investment added in last paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Kahl in Frankfurt at skahl@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Schaefer at dschaefer36@bloomberg.net, Ingo Kolf

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