It has been a hugely exciting first year and we are pleased to share what we have been able to achieve over the last 12 months.
The first consumer lender for all Australians
Plenti (then RateSetter) is the first – and still the only – consumer lending platform in Australia to allow everyday Australians to invest directly in consumer loans. We worked with ASIC for over two years to obtain the relevant licences, and to ensure the right protections are in place for our investors. Whilst this was a long journey, we consider the regulations that we now operate under set the gold standard for consumer lending globally.
A better deal for borrowers
Plenti has helped Australians buy new cars, renovate their homes, get engaged, get married, go on honeymoons and send their mothers away (on holidays). Our low rate personal loans have consistently beaten those offered by the big four banks. In recognition of our low rates and innovative loan product, Canstar has awarded Plenti their coveted ‘5-star’ rating for ‘Outstanding Value’ – the first and only technology-led consumer lender to have received this award.
Attractive returns for lenders
All of our lenders, from our smallest first-time investors all the way through to our largest SMSF investors have enjoyed attractive returns on their Plenti portfolios. In the last 12 months, we have facilitated more than $15 million in loans and returned more than $320,000 in interest to lenders.
Simpler and safer lending
The RateSetter group was the first globally to introduce the concept of a 'Provision Fund' to help protect investors from borrower late payments or default, helping to make lending simpler and safer. The Plenti Australia Provision Fund currently holds over $750,000 and has ensured that every lender has received every cent of interest and principal due. Of course, the growth of the Provision Fund has been assisted by the fact we have not had a single default from the over 900 borrowers who have obtained a loan from Plenti.
Earlier this year we also introduced secured personal loans helping to give borrowers seeking a low-interest car loan and providing additional assurance to lenders by facilitating loans that are backed by an asset that may be recovered should the need arise.
Comprehensive credit data
In July, Plenti (then known as RateSetter) became the first Australian lender to fully implement Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) data sharing through leading credit reporting body Veda. We see CCR as a game-changer for Australian consumers, helping boost competition between lenders and facilitating innovation such as true 'risk-based pricing’ to give consumers a better deal.
Loan book release
In October, we publicly released our loan book. The loan book contains information about every loan originated through Plenti since our launch up until 11 September 2015, when we passed $10 million in loans funded. Open data allows lenders and borrowers to make informed decisions and helps to ensure that we are accountable for the quality of loans we facilitate.
Partnerships with carsales.com and Stratton
In March we announced that Carsales.com and Stratton Finance (50.1% owned by carsales.com) together acquired a 20% equity stake in our company. Through our partnership with Statton and relationship with carsales.com, we’re helping to offer a far better deal to creditworthy borrowers looking for a car loan, who are otherwise overlooked by more traditional lenders.
Our first year saw our team grow from just a handful to over 25, but we’re not done yet – Plenti has lots of exciting new developments in the pipeline and we’re looking for smart, creative people (especially in credit underwriting, customer service and business development) to join us. To our lenders and borrowers, thank you for your support. As always, please continue to let us know your thoughts.
Here’s to another great year. Onwards and upwards.
Written byBen Milsom
Ben co-founded Plenti in 2014 and has diverse experience in financial services and online strategy, well-practised in high-growth digital ventures.