Fintech startup Propspa has received a $25 million funding round led by AirTree Ventures, in the largest deal of its kind in Australia.
Prospa, an online lender targetted at small businesses, claims it has now passed $250 million in loans in Australia. It already boasts deals with Westpac, Reckon and Mortgage Choice to on-sell its loan products and came in at number 31 in the global Fintech 100 rankings in October.
Prospa uses proprietary technology to facilitate its online loan application workflow, with lending approval and funds presented to customers within 24 hours. The fintech startup says the $25 million would be used to beef up its technology, product catalogue, distribution, talent acquisition and brand development.
“We will be investing in our team with a view to grow by over 100 people. We’re staying focused on Australia and investing in strengthening our credit automation technology to improve the customer experience,” said Prospa co-founder and executive officer Beau Bertoli. “Finally, we’re looking at product expansion in the second half of the year.”
AirTree Ventures raised $250 million last year to setup Australia’s largest startup venture fund.
According to Prospa, its $25 million deal is the largest fintech VC funding investment in an Australian business.
“This is a coming of age of the fintech sector in Australia,” said AirTree Ventures managing partner Craig Blair, while praising the startup for “achieving profitability from the very early days.”
Blair said that founders Beau Bertoli and Greg Moshal have “built a world class team” and are “exactly the kind of founders we want to partner with”.
AirTree was also involved in Prospa’s $60 million series B funding round in September 2015, which was led by Carlyle Group and also involved Ironbridge Capital, Entrée Capital and private investor David Fite. Entrée Capital provided series A funds prior to that.
Business Insider has contacted Prospa for details on the other investors in the latest deal.
Moshal said that the amount of interest shown by AirTree and other parties was an acknowledgement of how difficult it is for small businesses to get finance.
“We’ve now provided over 10,000 loans and put over $250m into the Australian small business economy, all the while maintaining our ability to wow our customers,” he said. “We’re driving a fundamental change in the way 2 million small business owners in Australia access finance.”
Bertoli said that distribution partnerships, such as the existing channels through Westpac and Mortgage Choice, were “key” to Prospa’s current growth phase.
“We’ll continue to invest in partnerships with trusted brands who share our values of putting their small business customers first,” he said.
“Small businesses are the driving force of the Australian economy. We’ve solved a huge challenge of access to finance for them by building the best local lending platform, making it faster and easier to get a small business loan than it ever has been.”
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