Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has launched one of the largest European financing programs for digital growth companies. With a total volume of € 100 million, online companies that have already outgrown the early start-up phase will be supported.
RBI as a pioneer
RBI is one of the first commercial banks to offer so-called scale-ups uncomplicated and fast corporate loans. Although demand for this product is high and growing strongly, this customer segment has been virtually unserved in this respect. For the founders and owners of fast-growing online companies, financing through debt capital is very attractive compared to additional equity capital, for which they would have to give up further company shares. 'I have experienced this myself as a scale-up founder,' explains Joerg Bartussek, who now heads RBI's Digital Department and developed the Digital Basket. 'The more valuable the company shares you still hold as a founder become, the more willing you are to pay interest for financing, and not give away more shares.'
With its local knowledge and strengths, RBI serves this corporate segment throughout Central and Eastern Europe, where it has been particularly difficult to access traditional corporate loans even for top scale-ups.
Fast and uncomplicated processing, no additional costs
The Digital Basket loans do not incur any costs other than interest. The term is between one and five years, depending on the customer's needs, and early repayment is possible in principle. RBI is now starting to build up a portfolio of top growth companies. The individual loan amounts range between € 1 and € 7 million.
The first pilot financing under the Digital Basket has already been completed. Only 14 days passed from the start of credit check and contract negotiations to disbursement.
To qualify for the Digital Basket, a scale-up must have annual revenues of at least € 5 million, have gained the trust of renowned investors by raising at least € 3 million in equity financing, and continue to grow profitably.
Companies in Western Europe as well as in the entire geographic footprint of RBI in Central and Eastern Europe are qualified. The Digital Basket does not focus on specific industries; top SaaS companies, eCommerce platforms and apps are financed just as much as innovative gaming providers, MedTechs or new mobility players. The only exception are scale-ups in the financial sector, so-called FinTechs, which are the target of RBI's Elevator Venture program.
In addition to the track record of the founders or managers, other selection criteria include a presence in at least two markets, an established internal controlling system and an acceptable debt/equity ratio.
Detailed information can be found here.