By Guglielmo de Stefano on Tuesday 16 February 2016
Harmoney Corp Limited Sells $8.5m of Series B Shares to UK-based P2PGI.
Australasia’s largest peer-to-peer lending marketplace, Harmoney Corp Limited, announced today the closure of a $8.5m Series B investment round led by a US-based investor and the UK-based P2P Global Investments PLC (P2PGI). This Series B equity round values the platform at $109m.
Founded in 2014, Harmoney matched borrowers and lenders for loans totalling $100 million in its first year of operation, and has facilitated loans for more than $200 million since its launch just 17 months ago. The platform focuses on consumer loans providing borrowers with unsecured loans up to $35,000 and interest rates from 9.99% per annum.
The Series B round follows on from an additional capital raise announced at the end of last week, as part of the plan to expand its operations in Australia later this year. On that occasion, the Auckland-based company sold $8.8 million of new shares to Stone Ridge Ventures and P2P Global Investments, taking total funds raised to $30 million.
Harmoney founder and co-CEO Neil Roberts commented:
“We’re delighted with the new arrangement, which, as we see it, is further validation of our strong performance since launching in September 2014. It is also attributable to our increase in origination volumes, conservative credit underwriting and strong management team.”
The new capital injection provides the necessary cash reserves to expand Harmoney’s suite of product offerings, increase overheads and support its growth in Australasia. Furthermore, this new round also cements the relationship with P2PGI. Harmoney had already been working with P2PGI. Only last September, the platform secured $200m commitment from the UK-based P2P fund. Today’s news represents a further intensification of their cooperation.
“Harmoney will continue to invest in our online marketplace. We are focused on continuously enhancing the experience for both Borrowers and Lenders."
Harmoney is by far and away the most established platform in NZ, but it isn’t operating in a vacuum. Indeed, it now faces a wave of competition with three others licensed platforms – Squirrel Money, not yet operational; LendMe, which has now started its operations, following its successful licensing by the Financial Markets Authority last May; and Lending Crowd, which started operating last December.
At the moment, the firm hasn't settled on a formal launch for Australia yet, but has said that it will launch an invite-only period in the coming weeks, which will let Harmoney iron out any issues before the hard-launch later this year. Once landed on Australian shores, we suspect the platform won’t have an easy life. Although the Australian Alternative Finance industry is at the very start of its journey - perhaps where the UK and US industries were approximately five years ago – the number of platforms down under is increasing exponentially..
Harmoney will find both local and overseas competitors. Local ones include the likes of SocietyOne - the first P2P lending platform launched in Australia; DirectMoney, the first P2P model to float in Australia; and MoneyPlace, the newest P2P lender launched in November 2015. Overseas competitors active in the space are RateSetter - the first UK platform to take on the relatively uncharted waters of Australia in October 2014; Thincats Australia, founded in late 2014 and born from a joint venture with ThinCats UK; and OnDeck, the latest global player to hit the Australian market.
All of these platforms and many more will be attending Australasia's first AltFi summit in a few weeks time. For more details click here.
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