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Wonga
Date.
08 June 2009
Publication.
News
Author.
Balderton

Wonga.com secures $22m financing round

Wonga.com secures $22m financing round
Innovative online lender poised for continued growth

London – 8 June 2009 - Wonga.com, the leading online provider of short-term cash advances, today announced the completion of a major new round of funding led by Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.

The $22.25m round was also supported by existing investor Balderton Capital and will allow the company to continue the strong growth demonstrated since the site’s full market launch just eleven months ago.

Wonga.com was founded by Errol Damelin and Jonty Hurwitz and helps UK consumers solve occasional cash flow problems in a quick yet responsible manner. The company has already provided nearly 100,000 flexible cash advances of up to 30 days. Applicants select exactly how much cash they need, up to £750. They can then determine their own price by then selecting how many days they want the money for.

Errol Damelin, founder and chief executive officer of Wonga, said: “Our ground-breaking technical innovation and focus on amazing our customers has enabled us to become profitable in a very short a space of time. Yet we are also building a sustainable business based on making highly selective and responsible lending decisions.

“We’ve built to scale and there is now huge scope for expansion and delivering even more value for our customers. Balderton Capital has backed us from concept and our two new investors show how game-changing the Wonga proposition is.

“Accel Partners is a global investor that has backed some of the fastest growth companies of the last two decades, such as Facebook. Greylock Partners is a thought leader and a long-term investor and they’ve made a significant statement by making a commitment to Wonga. Backing from three such prominent firms underscores our ability to challenge a major market in a very meaningful way.” 

Laurel Bowden, partner at Greylock, commented: “In this market, there are some excellent opportunities to build innovative financial services businesses. Wonga’s management team has developed a very innovative and real-time credit offering, solving relatively small immediate cash needs, and the business has shown impressive traction in the market. This is a key deal for Greylock in Europe and we are pleased to have an opportunity to help Wonga expand both locally and globally.”


Wonga.com is the first and only company to fully automate the lending process and provide a truly online credit solution around the clock. Applicants receive an instant answer thanks to sophisticated risk and decision technology that crunches hundreds of pieces of data in milliseconds. Cash is then deposited into the customer’s bank account within an hour, at any time of day or night.

Sonali De Rycker, partner at Accel, said: "Wonga's ability to offer credit in real-time while keeping a tight control on customer experience and defaults is truly disruptive. The team has done a phenomenal job growing the company rapidly over a short period of time.  We believe the company has the potential to become a category leader in the consumer finance marketplace."

Wonga has received glowing feedback from customers and industry insiders alike, recently achieving a world-class Net Promoter Score (www.netpromoter.com) of 79% and scooping numerous awards including the Red Herring 100 EMEA, Credit Risk Team of the Year from Credit Today and One to Watch in the annual Media Momentum listings.

Bernard Liautaud, partner at Balderton, added: “It is a great achievement to have raised such a significant second-round funding in this environment and proves the success of the Wonga business model. We backed the company three years ago and in that short space of time Errol and his team have created breakthrough innovation in consumer finance.”

Ends


Further media information

Wonga.com                 John Moorwood on 44 (0)7872 198 128 or john.moorwood@wonga.com
Balderton Capital       Victoria Palmer-Moore on 44 (0)7725 565 545 or victoria.palmermoore@powerscourtmedia.com 
Accel Partners            Tony Lederer on 44 (0)75 0008 1131 or tony.lederer@bitepr.com 
Greylock Partners       Laurel Bowden on 44 (0)7770 753 345 or lbowden@greylock.com

Wonga.com (www.wonga.com)
Wonga is a ground-breaking online lender based in London. We launched our first beta website in October 2007 and rapidly became one of the UK’s most innovative credit businesses. Our mission is to provide consumers with instant money whenever they need it, in an entirely responsible manner. We are transforming the huge UK credit market by offering small, short-term loans with more speed and convenience than banks, high street lenders and other websites. We have a consumer credit licence from the Office of Fair Trading and are members of the Finance and Leasing Association.

Greylock Partners (www.greylock.com)
Founded in 1965, Greylock Partners is one of the world's leading venture capital firms. Over the past four decades, Greylock has funded and helped build several hundred market-leading companies, including Ascend Communications, CheckFree, CipherTrust, Constant Contact, Continental Cable, Decru, Data Domain, digg, DoubleClick, Facebook, Farecast, Internet Security Systems, Ikanos, Legato, LinkedIn, Media Metrix, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Openwave, Open Market, Red Hat, RightNow Technologies, Success Factors, Tellabs, Trilogy, Wily Technology, Workday and Zipcar. Companies Greylock has funded in Israel and Europe include WebCollage, Red Bend, MySupermarket.com, Payoneer, Imperva, Port Authority and Zend Technologies. The Greylock approach is to put the entrepreneur first in a highly supportive way and to provide founders the resources they need to build outstanding businesses. Greylock operates in a number of global centers of innovation, including Silicon Valley, Boston, Israel and India.

Balderton Capital (www.balderton.com)
Balderton Capital is one of the largest venture capital firms in Europe, committed to finding and helping talented entrepreneurs build great companies. Based in London, it manages $1.9 billion in committed venture capital. Since 2000, Balderton has invested in over 80 companies, principally in numerous European countries but also in the US and Asia. Balderton’s investments span a wide variety of sectors  including  communications,  consumer services,  enterprise software and services, e-commerce, mobile, semiconductors, plus media and financial services. Balderton invests in innovative businesses and approaches investment using the principles of teamwork and an intense dedication to building companies of lasting value. The investment partners combine International and Silicon Valley operational experience with company-building expertise. Notable investments include Bebo (sold to AOL for $850m), Betfair (the online betting exchange), LOVEFiLM (the home entertainment subscription service) and MySQL (sold to Sun for $1 billion).

Accel Partners (www.accel.com)
Founded in 1983 and with offices in Palo Alto, London, Bangalore and China (via the IDG-Accel Partnership), Accel Partners has a history of excellence and innovation in the venture capital business. Accel is dedicated to partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class internet and technology businesses. Category-defining companies  backed by Accel include Admob, Actuate, Agile Software, Alfresco, Arrowpoint, BBN Technologies, BitTorrent, Brightcove, Brightmail, ComScore, Facebook, Foundry Networks, Gameforge, GlamMedia, Infinera, Interwoven, JBoss, Kayak, Macromedia, metroPCS, Polycom/PictureTel, QlikTech, Real Networks, Redback Networks, Remedy, Riverbed, SupportSoft, UUNet, Veritas, Walmart.com, Wily Technology, XenSource and Zimbra.

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