14 December 2020

Factoring rising-star company SMEO secures €4 million in funding


Warsaw-headquartered fintech SMEO has closed its latest capital injection with a €4 million investment from Finch Capital and Precapital.

SMEO offers online factoring services for micro, small and medium enterprises, a sector which faces increasingly challenging capital constraints following the COVID-19 pandemic. SMEO will use the capital to grow its factoring capabilities in order to address a broader customer base, with sights on international expansion.

The founding team behind SMEO is formed of CEO Michal Pawlik, CFO Agnieszka Gołębiewska and COO Monika Woźniak. The team created SMEO based on a common mission to support Polish small and micro-enterprises. SMEO’s team consists of experienced professionals who understand the specific needs of the microenterprise segment. This is their third successful start-up in the factoring space.

“SMEO is prepared to achieve the scale we dreamed of when we founded the company.” Monika Wozniak explains, “Polish businesses are eager to get things moving again after a difficult 2020, and we see ourselves poised to be a huge part of successfully reigniting the SME space. We've unlocked business-critical working capital for around 2000 companies, processed well over 320 million PLN in total volume. Getting back to work safely and efficiently after such a difficult year, means giving entrepreneurs the resources they need to serve their customers. At SMEO, we know exactly how to do this – give entrepreneurs the cash they need – and we've never been in a better position to make it happen.”

SMEO uses an automated scoring system built on machine learning, which combines traditional credit databases with alternative scoring techniques and PSD II enabled bank-account analysis. It is a fully automated process that governs client on-boarding and credit adjudication, meaning that SMEO can factor invoices up to a €125k limit with a significantly low default rate. SMEO’s proprietary in-house technologies are unique in the Polish SME space

SMEO also partners with other financial institutions, telecoms companies and IT companies. SMEO’s system allows for modular integration with partners, giving them the opportunity to add online factoring to their product portfolio without incurring investment costs.

Michal Pawlik comments: “At SMEO, we believe in partnerships; they're the only way for innovative tech firms to deal with the current landscape. We're excited, and feel privileged, to be part of Finch Capital's emerging interest in backing Polish companies (along with Symmetrical), as well as just their second lending investment in Central and Eastern Europe (after the Czech firm, Twisto). Even more, SMEO is delighted to welcome Precapital Investment into the FinTech space. Their support and confidence in what we are doing shows us both in an excellent light.”

Lourens Ruigrok, Investment Manager at Finch Capital comments: “SMEO is the third Polish company that Finch has invested in, and it is a great example of the innovation that we see coming out of the region. With a strong team and great technology, SMEO is well-positioned to make a significant impact in the Central European factoring space. We are delighted to back the highly-skilled team at SMEO and look forward to supporting them in this next growth phase.”

Prezmek Cholewa, CEO of Precapital, comments: “Precapital has chosen to enter the FinTech spaceby partnering with SMEO because they represent the leading edge of innovative financial services.Currently, we are mainly present in different market segments within the real estate industry, but wehave now placed ourselves in a position to expand our reach and enter new markets. Getting atoehold in FinTech opens a world of limitless possibilities for growth. We see these possibilitiesreflected in our newest partner, SMEO. We are also thrilled to move into this venture in partnershipwith Finch Capital, one of the absolute leaders in financial investment in Europe and beyond.”