How it started
YouLend was the brainchild of co-CEO Mikkel Velin and was born in CTO Mark Ufland's bedroom in 2016 with just seven employees, two computer screens and one standing desk. We are now one of the fastest growing FinTechs in Europe, with users of our embedded finance solution including: eBay, Shopify and Paymentsense. After growing to become a leading business finance provider in Europe, YouLend was named Credit Strategy’s FinTech of the Year in 2021, and we are now aiming to expand our reach with global ambitions on the near horizon.
Historically, factors such as limited cash flow, poor credit ratings and unfair repayment terms have meant that SMEs have struggled to access financing. Following the 2008 financial crisis, traditional lenders blocked off many of their lending pipelines in an attempt to lower their risk levels and shore up their capital.
Consequently, many banks were unable to invest in effective processes to accurately assess small business risk and conduct lending activities.
In 2016, Mikkel saw a gap in the SME financing space. Even though SMEs accounted for a large portion of the UK’s GDP, they were highly underserved by traditional banks as a result of the financial crisis. Mikkel’s vision to automate the embedded financing space grew from there, and YouLend was born.
More and more, technology platforms and payment service providers are playing an increasingly important role in supporting the growth of SMEs by facilitating fast and fair embedded finance – enabling them to unlock significant potential.
Today, YouLend is the preferred embedded financing platform for many of the world’s leading e-commerce businesses, tech companies, and payment service providers. Our software platform and APIs enable our partners to extend their value proposition by incorporating flexible financing products into their merchant base without necessarily having capital at risk.
YouLend’s financing solution is starting to have a measurable impact on the small businesses and merchants using our services. Shopify, for example, revealed that merchants who took advantage of funding solutions saw a 36% sales increase compared to those who did not take out financing. Ultimately, offering an embedded finance solution allows more merchants to grow and focus on what really matters: their business.
At YouLend, we aim to build a solution that brings vital support to the lifeblood of any economy: its small businesses. We are working to expand into new geographies and launch exciting products in the near term, so make sure to keep an eye on our news!