London-based Kennek, a provider of lending infrastructure, has successfully raised $4.5 million in a pre-seed funding round. The funding round was led by the Dutch Founders Fund, which comprises the founders of WeTransfer and JustEat, and was participated in by ffVC and Plug and Play Ventures.
Kennek offers an “operating system” for various players in the alternative credit sector, helping manage credit products. The funds raised will be used to scale up Kennek’s operations in Europe and invest in technology, team, and market reach.
The company is already signing up customers and has grown to 20 employees, referred to as “Kennek’ters”. According to co-CEO and co-founder Xavier De Pauw, the large size of the pre-seed round was necessary to show the company’s strong financial backing and overcome the challenge of being a critical piece of lending infrastructure.
De Pauw stated that Kennek is already 80% ready for the European market and is signing up customers, including two corporates looking to offer embedded credit and receivable finance platforms.
Dutch Founders Fund: All you need to know
The Amsterdam-based Dutch Founders Fund (DFF) is an early-stage venture capital firm founded by the individuals behind WeTransfer, Just Eat, Treatwell, and fonQ. The VC specializes in investing in B2B marketplaces and other businesses that leverage network effects and supports entrepreneurs throughout Europe and the MENA region.
Since its inception in 2018, the fund has invested in 24 companies and has approximately €100 million in assets under management. According to Laurens Groenendijk of the Dutch Founders Fund, the diverse experience of co-founders De Pauw, Lancksweert, and Parsons makes them well equipped to tackle the inefficiencies in the lending industry.