Thu Dec 1, 2011 3:11am EST

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Earlybird Venture Capital / EARLYBIRD PORTFOLIO COMPANY SMAVA.DE, GERMANY'S LEADING PEER-TO-PEER LENDING PROVIDER, LAUNCHES COOPERATION FOR FURTHER GROWTH . Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

  • Strategic cooperation with Germany's first community bank, Fidor Bank AG, as of today
  • Acquisition of Italy's leading peer-to-peer lending platform, Prestiamoci, late October
  • Move was supported by follow-up financing round of 4 million Euro

BERLIN, Dec. 01, 2011 - Earlybird Venture Capital portfolio company smava GmbH (smava.de), Germany's leading peer-to-peer lending provider with headquarters in Berlin, announced today that Fidor Bank AG, Germany's first community bank based in Munich, will serve as the new central banking cooperation partner for Germany. Together they serve a combined customer base of more than 80,000 registered customers. smava.de has arranged peer-to-peer loans with a cumulative loan volume of more than EUR 57 million since 2007, representing more than 20,000 loan investors and 7,000 borrowers. Fidor Bank, established in 2010, had customer deposits exceeding EUR 85 million end of fiscal year 2010.

smava.de's strategic collaboration with Fidor Bank aims at creating additional value for borrowers and lenders in the fields of credit compliance and credit handling procedures, including targeted new product development. Fidor Bank has been accredited as the new banking license partner of smava.de, and ensures regulatory compliance of all loan transactions handled via the smava.de market place. Fidor also serves as the initial lending counterpart, and syndicates loans to private investors at no premium.

"We are very pleased to have Fidor Bank AG as our new banking partner," said Alexander Artopé, Managing Director and Co-founder of smava.de. "Since our start in 2007, we have focused on the high quality and innovation of our platform in terms of value, service and security. We are convinced that Fidor Bank is the right future partner for us. We share a common understanding and view of the future development of the online and social lending market, as well as of the trends in the Web 2.0 universe."

"We very much welcome smava's step to cooperate with Fidor. The two leading social banking specialists share an extensive expertise and know-how in online financial services which will surely help them expand further in Europe", said Earlybird Managing Partner Christian Nagel.

This step follows smava.de's recent move to expand within Europe: Late October, smava.de expanded its activities to Italy by acquiring a majority stake in the leading Italian social lending platform Prestiamoci. Moreover, Banca Sella, the largest Italian private bank and previous owner of Prestiamoci, joined the existing syndicate of Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners as new investor. The expansion to Italy was complemented by a 4 million Euro financing round.


smava.de is Germany's largest online credit market. Borrowers can obtain cheap online credit at smava.de as a clever alternative to a bank loan with investors financing these loans directly. This way, smava.de establishes a direct connection between investor funds and the use of these funds by private persons and the self-employed. The resulting savings are passed on to customers in the form of better terms: Borrowers receive cheaper credit than is available to them through banks and investors benefit from better yields than could be obtained from other interest-bearing investments. smava GmbH is a German company headquartered in Berlin and is managed by an experienced team of finance and Internet experts. Since its launch in 2007, more than 20,000 investors and 7,000 borrowers have done business with each other through the smava.de credit market, with loans totalling around EUR 57 million in value.
More information at www.smava.de or www.smava-blog.de.


Earlybird Venture Capital currently manages €430 million in assets and is one of Europe's most successful venture investors. Earlybird invests in innovative, fast-growing technology enabled services companies with outstanding management teams and high growth potential in international markets. Earlybird's portfolio currently includes more than 20 companies and a number of market-leading consumer Internet, digital media and enterprise services firms such as B2X Care, Carpooling, Crowdpark, madvertise, Peak Games, smava, Socialbakers and Ubitricity. Since its inception, Earlybird has invested in over 70 companies that have sparked some of the most significant innovations in business and technology. In addition to several successful trade sales, Earlybird has led six companies to an IPO at four different European exchanges (Interhyp, Tipp24, Wilex, Esmertec, entelos, and NoemaLife).

Further information is available at www.earlybird.com, subscribe to our blog: www.blog.earlybird.com, follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/earlybirdvc or become a friend on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EarlybirdVC



Christof Wisniewski / Katarzyna Rezza Vega
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Sophie Buening
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