Peer-to-peer SocietyOne completes $25m raising

Peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne has completed a $25 million round of funding, which was supported by its leading shareholders.

SocietyOne, now led by former senior Westpac executive Jason Yetton, announced yesterday that its loan book had shot through the symbolically important $100m barrier in the first week of April.

This came after strong growth from the beginning of the year, with personal loans and ­agribusiness finance jumping by $30m.

While the funding round has been under way for several months, its completion is a show of faith in SocietyOne’s direction under Yetton, who was appointed early last month, and the lender’s growth trajectory.

The company took six quarters until the second quarter of 2014 to grow its book tenfold to $10m, and a further seven quarters for another tenfold increase to $100m.

Yetton, according to market sources, kicked in about $1m of his own funds to the raising.

SocietyOne’s biggest shareholder — a consortium featuring James Packer, Kerry Stokes and News Corp (publisher of The Australian) — had a 25 per cent stake as a result of its last raising in December 2014.

Participants in the consortium are believed to have taken up their full entitlements in the most recent funding round, as did long-time supporter Westpac through its in-house venture capital fund Reinventure.

The implied value of SocietyOne from the latest raising is unclear. However, similar lenders have been valued in line with the cumulative value of their loan books, which in SocietyOne’s case would suggest a valuation of about $100m.

Source: Peer-to-peer SocietyOne completes $25m raising