Trade Me leads $10m capital raise in NZ P2P firm

New Zealand’s first peer to peer (P2P) lending platform confirms a successful capital raise of $10m.

New Zealand’s first peer to peer (P2P) lending platform Harmoney confirmed a successful capital raise of $10m today, after receiving multiple offers from investors in New Zealand and overseas.

The successful investors are existing shareholder Heartland New Zealand, and NZX and ASX-listed Trade Me which becomes a new minority shareholder, strategic partner and distribution channel.

Trade Me, New Zealand’s leading online marketplace and classified advertising platform, has invested $7.7m for a 15 per cent share in Harmoney.

Harmoney CEO Neil Roberts says it is "fantastic" to have publicly listed Trade Me on board as a key investor and partner.

“The investment is a great endorsement for Harmoney but more importantly we gain a strategic partner and distribution channel with deep domain knowledge of building and running an online marketplace," he says.

“Trade Me operates the country’s most popular online marketplace with more than 700,000 domestic browsers visiting it every day.

"Combining Trade Me’s experience and distribution with Harmoney’s proven ability to bring innovative financial services products to market is the most exciting part of this transaction.”

Trade Me CEO Jon Macdonald says consumer finance and P2P lending were proving sustainable and successful overseas.

“It is early days but we think there’s a lot of potential for P2P lending to work well in New Zealand, and of course consumer finance is a large and well-established industry here," he adds.

"To us it looks like an area of the market that will undergo a long-term structural shift online – and we believe Harmoney is well-placed to take advantage of this.”

Macdonald also believes Harmoney and Trade Me are a great fit too, adding: “We share a common purpose in that we are both all about providing Kiwi consumers with a safe, trusted, scalable, efficient online platform to undertake a transaction – the Trade Me platform is all about items changing hands, and Harmoney’s platform is all about dollars changing hands.”

Macdonald says the Harmoney team had done an excellent job gaining a foothold in the local P2P market.

“Harmoney has good momentum," he adds. "It also has a strong team with a lot of experience in and around consumer finance, and we like their plans for the future too. We’re excited about being involved.”

Roberts adds that the decision to raise capital at this time was in response to customer demand that has driven rapid month-on month growth since the launch of the Harmoney platform.

“Since launching Harmoney in September we have experienced exponential growth," he says.

"This recent capital raising, alongside the strategic partnership with Trade Me and the continued support of Heartland New Zealand means we can rapidly scale our offering, develop new products and gain exposure to a wider range of the New Zealand public.”

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