Media mogul-backed digital lender SocietyOne eyes ASX float
Digital lender SocietyOne is looking to capitalise on buoyant markets and eyeing a potential ASX float this year as the Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Stokes and James Packer-backed company looks to fund increased lending and bolster product development.
The eight-year-old fintech says the total value of loans on its platform has now surpassed $1 billion with business conditions bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels thanks to a wave of government stimulus that has supported consumer confidence.
Chief executive Mark Jones said he expected a “pretty robust” year ahead, pointing to “booming” demand for loans for purchases such as cars, or upgrades to home offices. He also said the company was continuing to finance more of its loans through warehouse funding — lines of credit from wholesale lenders such as banks — which provided a cheaper source of funds than its original model based around peer-to-peer lending.
As SocietyOne announced it would lift its maximum loan size to $70,000, Mr Jones said it saw a market in providing more products, including mortgages in about one year’s time.
“In Australia, for us, we’d like to be able to help customers with a mortgage but the size of the balance sheet required to do that means we’re just working through how we could do that in partnership with someone,” he said in an interview.
These plans to develop more products, and the move to rely more heavily on wholesale funding, will require capital, and after rivals Plenti and Harmoney floated in late 2020, an initial public offering (IPO) is one possibility. He added it had not yet made a final decision to float, or when it would occur.
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