Harmoney Hits $100m Mark

By Ryan Weeks on Friday 11 September 2015

Alternative Lending

Harmoney – by far the largest Australasian marketplace lending platform – has crossed the $100m mark just 12 months after having launched.

Haromoney has had a busy first year as New Zealand’s only major marketplace lending platform. The platform has twice raised equity money, in the first instance selling 10% of the platform to Heartland Bank for an undisclosed fee. Harmoney then raised a further NZ$10m in January in a round led by the NZX and ASX listed online marketplace Trade Me – which also became a strategic partner and a major distribution channel for the platform. Trade Me acquired 15% of the company at a valuation of $55m.

Equity aside, Harmoney also secured a landmark debt capital commitment of $50m from Blue Elephant Capital Management. Blue Elephant became one of four major institutional investors to channel money through the young platform, another being the platform’s original equity investor Heartland Bank. P2PGI is also playing in the Harmoney marketplace.

That is not to say, however, that the platform’s first year of lending has been exclusively fuelled by institutional funds. Harmoney has established a community of over 3,000 active individual investors, with an average account balance per investor of $6k. On the broader investment proposition, Harmoney has to date generated an average realised yield of c.13% (net of fees and losses), and the platform’s investors have earned total interest of $6m thus far.

Harmoney has also been expanding its product set since launching this time last year, branching out into SME lending in November 2014. The platform has fielded around 70,000 loan applications since launching, equal to about $1bn in value.

Chairman Rob Campbell weighed in on the platform’s successes:

"Harmoney has much to be proud of. We were the first P2P marketplace in the world to launch with $100 million lending capital, and we welcomed two high profile shareholders; Heartland Bank and Trade Me. These events have been the foundation of our success.”

"Kiwis, in keeping with their reputation as early adopters, are embracing Harmoney's P2P offering with enthusiasm.”

"We are achieving phenomenal growth, and in 12 months have attracted 70,000 loan enquiries worth $1bn and welcomed 3,000 active personal investors to our marketplace, www.harmoney.co.nz.”

"With the exception of China, this level of growth is unheard of, and reflects the hard work and experience of the team."

Harmoney is by far and away the most established platform in NZ, but it isn’t operating in vacuum. Squirrel Mortgages recently launched its P2P consumer lending offering, and another platform by the name of LendMe is due to launch soon.

Harmoney’s plans for the future include making greater use of emerging technologies, particularly in the rapidly growing mobile space, developing further channels to market, product development (with a specific focus on tailoring products to high net worth individuals) and generally continuing the platform’s growth. Neil Roberts, CEO of the company, offered his thoughts on the $100m milestone:

"Harmoney has had a fantastic first year. There is strong and growing demand for higher investment returns and cost effective borrowing and a growing awareness of the benefits of P2P. We're proud to be the platform that facilitates people investing in people."

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