Värde and NatWest agree joint venture with Swedish SME lender

The SKr3.1bn deal will allow DBT to scale its business in response to increasing demand for SME capital.

Swedish SME lender DBT has signed a deal with US-headquartered global credit investor Värde Partners and UK bank NatWest to lend up to SKr3.1 billion ($282.5 million; €285.2 million).

The funding will enable Stockholm-based DBT to scale its operations and support more SMEs across all industries in Sweden.

Alexis Kopylov, chief executive officer and co-founder of DBT, said: “This is a milestone financing arrangement which enables us to support even more scaling SMEs across Sweden. It comes at the best possible time, as the SME companies we support see increased need for flexible yet long-term strong financing in light of the current energy crisis, inflation surge and rising fuel prices.”

DBT was founded in 2017 and uses a credit technology platform to provide real time client data and rapid turnarounds for borrowers. It has invested SKr2 billion over the past six years.

The firm has an established relationship with NatWest, which has supported specialist SME lenders in Sweden for several years, while Värde is providing capital to DBT for the first time.

Aneek Mamik, partner and global head of financial services at Värde, added: “DBT has invested considerably in its platform and has developed differentiated SME loan underwriting capabilities. Fintech lenders like DBT are going through a period of extraordinary growth due to a secular shift in their favour.

“Borrowers, both commercial and consumer, are increasingly demanding more tailored forms of capital to fund their growth and purchases. We believe this has created a substantial asset-based lending opportunity for us that is set to grow materially over the next five years.”