Australian small business fintech Prospa sees loans top $1bn

By Roger Baird on Wednesday 13 March 2019

Alternative Lending

The Sydney-based online lender said ‘demand continues to grow’ among small firms.

Australian online lender Prospa said its lending to small businesses has topped A$1bn since its launch seven years ago.

The Sydney-based small and medium enterprise (SME) sized lender said its loan originations have been taken out by more than 19,000 firms in Australia and New Zealand in that period, adding that “demand continues to grow”.

Prospa loans SMEs between A$5,000 and A$250,000 over a period of up to two years.

The business also reported first half 2019 results, showing loan originations jumped 44 per cent to A$225m, compared to the same period a year ago.

It added that revenues leapt  41 per cent to A$67.7m over the same period, “driven by strong loan originations”.

However, the firm pulled its A$576m initial public offering minutes before it was due to float last June after regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, requested further details about its small business loan contracts. In September, the platform said it had made changes to its standard SME loan contracts, but is to yet set a new flotation date.

Prospa, founded in 2012, said over the last three months re-financed A$45m in junior notes to new fixed income investors, “materially lowering” its funding costs.

It also raised A$43m convertible notes by new and existing investors last October, to fund new products and services.

Joint chief executive and co-founder and Beau Bertoli said: “In October, Prospa raised A$43m in funding, enabling further investment in developing our cash flow products and services; and funding increasing momentum in our loan book.”

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