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smava successfully closes second financing round

· Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners invest 4 Million Euro in social lending marketplace
· smava invests in product development, marketing and internationalization

Berlin, October 7th, 2008 – smava, Germany’s leading social lending marketplace has successfully closed a second financing round. The two venture capital firms Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners invested 4 Million Euro together in smava GmbH. Earlybird was already a first round investor and Neuhaus Partners was successfully added to the second round.

smava will use the additional capital primarily for product development, marketing and internationalization. Paul Jozefak, managing partner at Neuhaus Partners and new member of the advisory board of smava: “smava proved in turbulent times that a good idea always works, no matter the market situation. Already over 4 Million Euro in originated loans prove that social lending marketplaces do not only work in the US, but also in Germany. The innovative concept in connection with a strong management team and a multi-billion Euro market volume offers the opportunity to turn the tide in regards to rules of the loan market in the consumer’s favor.”

Dr. Christian Nagel, Managing Partner at Earlybird and member of the advisory board of smava: „Similar to our investment in the online and direct mortgage financer Interhyp, smava shows that a compelling vision can be turned into reality step by step. smava offers a secure online marketplace which allows lenders and borrowers to profit from a higher financial as well as social return in comparison to classical bank products.”

With this investment, belongs to the leading worldwide social lending platforms alongside internationally established companies Prosper (USA) and ZOPA (England). Alexander Artopé, founder and managing director of smava GmbH: “We’re excited to have two premium investors such as Earlybird and Neuhaus Partners on our side. They both share and support our vision for a social lending marketplace. With the resources from this financing round we will further accelerate the growth of smava.”

About Earlybird

Earlybird Venture Capital was established in 1997 and is one of the most successful European venture investors. Currently, Earlybird manages over 400 million Euros of assets. Earlybird invests in innovative, fast growing companies with outstanding management teams and high growth potential on international markets within the sectors software, semi-conductor technology, information and communication technology, internet based services, cleantech and medtech. Earlybird's portfolio includes more than 21 companies in seven countries (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, UK, USA, Italy and France). Since inception Earlybird has invested in more than 55 companies. Earlybird supports and accelerates entrepreneurial success. As one of the leading early stage venture capital investors in Europe, Earlybird offers entrepreneurs profound experience in setting up young businesses and supporting companies from the cradle to profitability: Earlybird does not only offer capital in the start-up-phase but also supports financing in later growth phases.

Within two years, six of Earlybird's technology companies have floated on various European stock exchanges: Interhyp, Tipp24 and Wilex, Esmertec, Entelos and NoemaLife. Interhyp alone returned fifty times its original investment. In addition to that, Earlybird supported element 5 in its acquisition by Digital River, Identify in its acquisition by BMC Software, Alantos in its sale to Amgen, AbaXX in its sale to Cordys, amaxa to Lonza and dooyoo in the sale to LeGuide.

For further details on Earlybird please visit

Daniela von Wedel
Earlybird Venture Capital
Van-der-Smissen Str. 3
22767 Hamburg

Telephone: +49 40 432941-0
Fax: +49 40 432941-29

Publisher Contact Information:

+49 40 432941-0

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