Prospa, Now Valued at $235 Million, is a Major Online Small Business LenderFebruary 22, 2017 | By: Sean Murray
Online small business lending in Australia is taking off, especially for Sydney-based Prospa, who according to the Australian Financial Review, has slightly more than half of the industry’s market share. The company just announced a $25 million (AUD) equity round led by AirTree Ventures that pegged Prospa’s value at $235 million (AUD).
Prospa is significant in that it received early support from US-based Strategic Funding, the same company that just absorbed the US operations of Capify. A 2013 press release said that Strategic would be providing the technology for the electronic servicing, underwriting and cash management of all Prospa Advance accounts in Australia in addition to jointly funding all the merchant cash advances and loans they originated. Sources say however that the arrangement is no longer in effect.
In September 2015, The Carlyle Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, participated in a $60 million round for the company. Prospa has now funded more than $250 million to small businesses since inception.
“The market in Australia has been very ripe for alternative finance,” Prospa co-CEO Beau Bertoli said to deBanked about 18 months ago. “We see an opportunity for the alternative finance segment to be more dominant in Australia than it is in America.”
The Australian Financial Review cites Bertoli as more recently saying that the market there could grow to at least $20 billion in the next five years.
Similar to offers in the US, Prospa lends between $5,000 to $250,000 for loans up to one year.Last modified: February 22, 2017
Sean Murray is the founder of deBanked, a 10-year veteran of the merchant cash advance industry, a casual Lending Club and Prosper investor, the co-founder of Daily Funder, an alternative lending speaker, consultant, writer, and enthusiast. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter.