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Kredex rejects Cleveron's EUR 30 mln loan application in Estonia

BC, Tallinn, 17.12.2020.Print version
The Viljandi, South Estonia based manufacturer of parcel robots Cleveron, which asked for a loan of 30 million euros from Kredex for the establishment of a new parcel machine network, received a negative response to its request on Monday, the regional Sakala writes, cites LETA/BNS.

The response indicated that Kredex is discontinuing the granting of national extraordinary loans under the COVID-19 aid measures. The reason why Kredex has stopped lending to nationally important projects was not clear from the loan institution's curt response.

"The most irritating thing is that Kredex's website still announces that it is possible to apply for and receive an extraordinary loan for nationally important projects," Cleveron founder and CEO Arno Kutt told Sakala, adding that the company does not intend to abandon the parcel machine network plan.

The initial response to Sakala by Joonas Kerge, head of communications at Kredex, indicated that Kredex has run out of money to issue loans or has more applications on the table than would be possible to lend out to.

Cleveron asked for 30 million euros, which is needed to build a network of 20,000 parcel lockers in Estonia.

Of the eight points required to obtain a loan from Kredex, Cleveron had completed the first two -- submitted a loan application with all the necessary documents and also received confirmation from Kredex that all documents met the requirements.

However, everything stalled from the moment when the government had to confirm that it was a project of national importance. Kutt said he does not know whether the government discussed the issue at all or what it thought, because there is no information whether the plan reached the ministers.

The network to be set up will consist of private lockers that anyone can buy or rent for their home and larger shared parcel machines in residential areas, at bus stops, in village centers or near businesses. The network could be used by anyone who wants to move parcels, and unlike all other parcel machines in use so far, these lockers would be the kind where food can be left as well.

Cleveron would like to recoup the investment of 30 million euros from the sale and rent of the lockers. In large places, the company would earn income from the users of the lockers, in smaller places, the company wants to find a contract partner, which can be an individual, a company, an apartment association or a local government, who can pay the rent.

Joonas Kerge, chief of communication at Kredex, said on Wednesday that unfortunately, the response by Kredex to the applicant was unclearly worded.

"We would like to affirm that the application by Cleveron continues to be under work at Kredex. The application for a loan has not been forwarded to the Government of the Republic yet, before that it must go through various decision-making stages at Kredex," Kerge said.

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