ThinCats is expanding overseas – rolling its peer-to-peer lending services out to Poland and Australia.
The move will see ThinCats become the first peer-to-business lending operation in each country. Both businesses and lenders will be able to make use of the platform – which will mirror the structure of the UK setup. That means employing a network of “sponsors” – finance professionals – to assess every borrower proposition, and helping to design an appropriate funding package. These sponsors will be locally sourced, and they will assist in tracking down suitable loan opportunities.
“We were approached by joint venture partners in each locality and both have very similar philosophies to ourselves, and we felt each was a highly compatible match. It’s very important to us that we align ourselves with like-minded people in the space.”
As Mr. Caley points out, the platform wisely recognizes the value of local knowledge – and has teamed up with local partners who possess a deep understanding of their respective markets. The new ventures in Poland and Australia will seek to be cash positive and stable as quickly as possible. ThinCats will also be seeking a modest sum of seed equity capital from qualified investors who are prepared to lend via the new platforms.
Currently, overseas lenders provide 6% of the funds channeled through ThinCats UK. Both Poland and Australia are exhibiting rapid growth – which ThinCats believes means massive potential for lending to businesses. Poland has the largest economy in Central Europe, while the Australian economy has grown by 3.5% in the past year.
Another UK platform – RateSetter – recently became one of the first consumer lending platforms down under. RateSetter was open about its desire to use the Australian platform as a stepping-stone into the potential boon that is the Asian market. With a foothold now in both continental Europe and Australia, it is clear that ThinCats is also turning its attention to world domination.