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Rebecca Wayman

ACORN OakNorth Holdings completes $100m investment round following expansion plans

Today (September 6), ACORN OakNorth Holdings has announced it has secured $100m from the EDBI of Singapore, NIBC Bank, Clermont Group, GIC, and Coltrane Asset Management.

The $100m represented 4.3 per cent of the company. The capital will be used to accelerate the growth of ACORN machine and enable OakNorth to continue scaling its lending efforts in the UK.

Since the start of 2018, OakNorth has doubled its loan book from $1.1bn to $2.2bn and expects to lend a further $600m this year.

Richard F. Chandler, chairman of Clermont Group, said: “The Clermont Group is delighted to continue its support of ACORN OakNorth.

“We believe it has the potential to become a globally scalable business and a future champion in the financial services sector.

“By providing capital to the underserved SME segment, ACORN OakNorth reflects the Clermont Group’s philosophy of building and investing in companies that contribute significantly to their nation’s economy.

“For SMEs, capital can be a scarce and vital resource. ACORN OakNorth’s ability to provide capital to SMEs plays an important role in helping to resource entrepreneurs and businesses that have traditionally been underserved by the large financial institutions.”

Its loans have directly helped with the creation of over 8,500 new homes and 8,000 new jobs in the UK. Its clients include renowned high street brands, such as LEON, Brasserie Blanc and Z Hotels, as well as property developers like Regal London and Galliard.

Meanwhile, ACORN machine has opened offices in New York and Singapore to service clients across multiple continents and will have over $5bn of assets under service on its platform by year end.

NIBC Bank is the platform’s first client in the Netherlands. ACORN machine’s team now consists of almost 100 people, and in the short term expects to add another 50 people across growth and operations, engineering, machine learning and data science.

Chu Swee Yeok, chief executive officer and president of the EDBI of Singapore, added: “We are excited to partner and help grow ACORN machine in Asia through its regional base in Singapore.

“By leveraging machine learning, proprietary and third-party data sources, as well as credit analysis competencies, we believe the platform can help address the underserved SME loans segment in the region, improving financial institutions’ cost efficiency and underwriting processes.”

Proskauer acted as the legal advisor to ACORN OakNorth Holdings on the transaction.

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