By Georgina McCreadie on Friday 5 December 2014
SocietyOne, Australia’s largest peer-to-peer lender, has closed a Series B capital raise with a consortium of eminent Australia investors, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Australia, Consolidated Press Holdings (CHP), and Australian Capital Equity. The fundraise is rumoured to be worth around $10 million.
Matt Symons, CEO and co-founder of SocietyOne, commented:
“This investment marks a new and exciting chapter for SocietyOne and for the acceleration of P2P Lending in Australia. We are thrilled to partner with investors of this calibre with their unparalleled track record for building successful businesses in Australia and overseas.”
James Packer, speaking on behalf of the consortium of CPH, News Corp Australia and Australian Capital Equity, added:
“We have seen first-hand the power of technology in reshaping the media industry and I am excited about the potential of technology, led by the team at SocietyOne, to help reshape the financial services industry in Australia. We see enormous potential in delivering significant savings to borrowers as well as providing new innovative products that will also be attractive to the investor market. Peer-to-Peer lending is one of the global forces leading the transformation of banking by putting people, not intermediaries, at the centre of the borrowing and lending experience.”
The Westpac Group-backed VC fund Reinventure has also agreed to participate in this latest capital raise, following on from an initial investment in February this year.
Simon Cant, Co-founder and Managing Director of Reinventure, explained:
“We continue to be impressed by the growth of the model and the execution of this team. This new round of investment brings together the best group of strategic investors in the country. This is consistent with our approach of backing experienced entrepreneurs, proven models and driving value to ensure they win their market.”
The timing of this announcement is significant as all eyes are on the Australian government for the announcement of the results of the Murray inquiry, its banking review. It is expected to have big repercussions for the banks, as it is likely that changes will be made to their capital requirements. This could boost the peer-to-peer lending space, as by making the banks increasingly uncompetitive more customers will be driven to the more efficient borrowing products offered by the alternative finance platforms.