Debt consolidator Versara snaps up marketplace lender Peerform

By David Stevenson on Friday 18 November 2016

Alternative Lending

Personal loan platform boosts Versara’s growth strategy aimed at consumers

Over the last few month’s we’ve seen growing evidence that the alternative finance space is maturing fast. As part of this slow but steady process of ‘mainstreaming’ we’ve seen a major player stumble and then recover (LendingClub), regulators in the US investigating lending and risk models, and most recently there’s been the news that pioneering P2P platform Zopa wants to become a bank! All that was needed next was for a proper bout of mergers and acquisition (M and A) activity. We’ve had the odd few transactions to date, not least Funding Circle’s swoop on ZenCap in Germany but the US market has so far at least witnessed much less activity.

News this week that Versara Lending has snapped up marketplace lender Peerform might be the start of something much bigger though. Are we about to see a process of consolidation initiated by the larger platforms or will outside players such as Versara start to move into the space, snapping up marketplace lenders to augment their own businesses?

So, who are the players in this deal? Peerform was founded in 2010 by Wall Street executive Mikael Rapaport with the mission of helping dependable borrowers whose needs were not being met by existing lenders by offering them with personal loans up to $25,000. The consumer lending platform matches borrowers and investors through its proprietary Loan Analyzer tool.

Versara Lending, located in New York City, is a privately held consumer lender that specializes in debt consolidation loans. Versara helps consumers seeking to simplify their personal finances with a single, low, fixed monthly payment. According to Versara, clients who are burdened by high credit card debt, across multiple accounts, look to the lender to help them achieve financial peace of mind.

After the deal is finalised Peerform will operate out of the Versara Lending offices. “This acquisition allows Versara to leverage Peerform’s exceptional history of growth and expertise in consumer marketplace lending,” said An Phan, SVP of Lending at Versara. “We believe that Peerform will greatly contribute toward expanding our current capabilities, and accelerating our service and product offerings to benefit borrowers.”

 “We are committed to continue the growth we’ve experienced since we started the company in 2010,” said Mikael Rapaport, Founder and CEO of Peerform. “In order to realize our potential, it was important for us to build a strong strategic partnership. By joining Versara, we will be able to combine our resources to scale quickly to compete effectively in the consumer lending industry.”

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.