Banco BNI Europa has agreed to invest €10m through Portuguese peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Raize over the next two years.
The partnership with Raize will boost lending to SMEs across the country, with foreign direct investment having already reached a 20-year high in 2016.
The announcement comes less than a month after the bank agreed a £45m deal with UK P2P platform MarketInvoice.
“The bank is extremely committed to supporting SMEs in the European space,” said Pedro Coelho, executive chairman of BNI Europa.
“Our partnerships with Raize and MarketInvoice are just some of the initiatives the bank is promoting with fintech businesses and more are likely to follow.
“I believe it is inevitable that banks will have to work more collaboratively with fintech businesses going forward.”
The Portuguese economy experienced strong GDP growth of 2.8% in the first quarter of 2017.
“The deal between Raize and BNI Europa is the first of its kind in Portugal, and shows renewed interest from investors in Portuguese businesses,” added José Rego, chief executive officer and co-founder of Raize.
“We are seeing very interesting growth rates in the Portuguese market – a market most people thought was too risk-averse and unsophisticated.
“In fact, at the pace we’re growing, we expect 25% of SMEs in Portugal to be financed by investors in five to 10 years’ time.”
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