Small business lending marketplace secures seed funding

Alternative business lending in Australia continues to grow as more businesses seek out flexible, fast and affordable financing options. Australia is now the third largest market for online alternative finance in the Asia Pacific behind China and Japan* and is valued at nearly $460 million.

Fintech small business lending marketplace Bigstone said it has completed a $3 million seed funding round. This is the first round of funding for the online marketplace lender that launched in June to offer small businesses access to simple, fast and fair loans.

Proceeds from the capital raise will be used to fuel expansion, grow the marketing team, extend the reach of Bigstone’s channel partner network and further build out Bigstone’s small business loan market platform.

The seed funding round is led by ASX listed Private Equity and Venture Capital firm CVC Limited, the founders of Bangkok-based Lighthouse Venture Partners and private investors.

Mr Alexander Sandy Beard, CEO of CVC Limited, sees huge potential for Bigstone.

“The leadership team of Bigstone is what first excited us about this opportunity. It’s not often you find a team as strong and committed to a long-term goal as this, with the necessary experience to successfully execute their strategies. CVC makes long-term patient capital investments, and there is a significant opportunity for Bigstone to take advantage of a market that is being disrupted by marketplace lenders and rapidly grow their business,” said Beard.

“We believe Bigstone has created a better intermediation process than those currently available that vastly eases the process for enabling investors to provide loans to borrowers while providing them with improved investment returns,” the executive said.

“Bigstone has huge potential as an industry disruptor and we’re looking forward to partnering with Boyd and the team as they look at the next stage of growth,” said Beard.

Alternative finance in Australia continues to grow as more businesses seek out flexible, fast and affordable financing options. Australia is now the third largest market for online alternative finance in the Asia Pacific behind China and Japan* and is valued at nearly $460 million.

With this funding announcement, Bigstone is on track with its local growth strategy and plans to capitalise on the large and rapidly growing market opportunity to fund growing small business owners looking for simple, fast and fair finance options.

Mr Boyd Pederson, co-founder and CEO of Bigstone (www.bigstonecapital.com.au), said: “It was incredibly important to find the right long-term capital investors whose vision for marketplace lending and the capabilities required to succeed were aligned with ours, and could support Bigstone’s longer term growth plans with value-add beyond funding.”

“Partnering with the right investors – who understand our company, philosophy and vision, who also have an established track record of working with high growth companies and understand both equity and debt investing – is extremely important to us. Each investor bring a combination of skills, capability and connections that will accelerate our growth and help us on the road to become the market lender of choice for small business loans,” said Pederson.

Mr Paniti Junhasavasdikul, founding partner of Lighthouse Venture Partners said, “I truly believe in the global vision that the Bigstone founders have for the future of capital access for small business. We see strong growth potential for businesses like this in Southeast Asia and look forward to participating in its development in Australia.”

“Gone are the days of traditional banks. From my own first hand experience with traditional bank services, fiat currency, block-chain settlement and direct loan marketplaces are the next wave of the financial world,” he said.

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