Varengold takes stake in Bulgarian fintech start-up Klear

Germany’s Varengold Bank has acquired 20 per cent of Bulgaria’s lending platform Klear, with the mission to turn its Sofia’s branch into a major hub for its expansion in Southeast Europe.

Varengold Bank will support the development and growth of Klear with a 767,000-euro financial package, which comprises equity and debt funding, used to expand Klear’s operations across Bulgaria and the region.

“When we enter partnerships, we seek proven marketplace business concepts with growth potential, along with an unwavering commitment from the company’s principal owners towards the mission of their organisation,” said Sergey Panteleev, general manager of Varengold Bank’s Sofia branch. “We look for strong teams and leaders that are ready to take and share risks in a responsible manner and want to scale up their operations globally. The business case of Klear fully fits these requirements.”

So far, 1,175 active investors have provided 938 loans through the lending platform, and Klear has been named Best FinTech Startup in Bulgaria at the Central European Start-up Awards two years in a row, in 2017 and 2018.

“Supporting the development and growth of P2P lending platforms and fintech players like Klear is one of Varengold’s key priorities in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe,” continued Mr Panteleev. “These marketplace platforms are growing and expanding their operations. They are reshaping the conventional approach in the financial industry and will step-by-step replace traditional ways in lending, simply by providing significantly more favourable terms and conditions to borrowers, improving access to funds for consumers and also making raising funds more affordable. This is a fundamental change on the market and we are satisfied to take part in it actively.”