Peer to peer marketplace Harmoney celebrates a successful first year as New Zealand’s only operating P2P lender, achieving unprecedented growth, creating jobs in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji and preparing to launch in Australia.
The Harmoney platform facilitated $100 million of personal loans in less than 12 months while creating 65 new jobs.
Harmoney launched on 10 September 2014 with $100 million of committed lending capital from institutions including Blue Elephant Capital Management & Heartland Bank. Over the first year both the Heartland Bank abd Trade Me became shareholders, with 10% and 15% respectively.
The company says over 70,000 loan applications were received with 90% of loans funded by the marketplace within 24 hours.
About 3000 individual investors are active, with an average account balance of $6,000.
Chairman Rob Campbell said “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.”
By using technology and cutting out the middleman, Harmoney has created an exciting, new and higher yield asset class, disrupting the market and revolutionising the investor-borrower relationship. Investors are able to achieve higher rates of return (target 12%); fast tracking retirement savings or home deposits.
Investors fractionalise their investments, a process that breaks a loan into $25 units called “notes”. This approach allows investors to select how many "notes" they wish to fund in a particular loan, which spreads risk. Harmoney’s individual investors currently fund 25% of loans available, and have an average investment of $6,000.
New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to overhaul securities law and to allow for peer to peer lending platforms which can act as a challenge to traditional banking.
The service providers are regulated, licensed and policed by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Peer to Peer Lending Platforms operate with benchmark operational costs far lower than any main street bank; the savings from which are passed on to lenders using the platform.