Singaporean personal lending fintech Lendela has opened its first office in Australia. Founded in 2018, Lendela’s online platform helps consumers find the best loan with one application. The company processes around 70,000 loan applications a year. Lendela’s Australian base in Sydney is the company’s fourth office after Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
‘Austrade was instrumental in helping us enter the Australian market and building our network,’ says Lendela’s founder and CEO, Nima Karimi. ‘We have received valuable introductions, and advice and support in legal, HR and market matters.’
Australian loan market offers strong opportunities
Karimi says Australia’s huge loan market offers strong business opportunities.
‘Australia disburses more than 8 million personal loans annually,’ he says. ‘The need for loans is also growing because of changing economic circumstances.’
Karimi notes there are gaps in the competitor landscape that Lendela can fill.
‘Other comparison platforms have lead-generation referral models and only cater to customers with good credit ratings,’ he says. ‘There are many considerations when picking a loan. Lendela finds the best loan and guides customers through the application process until they receive the loan.’
A supportive financial and regulatory environment
Jake Osborne, Head of Australia at Lendela, cites Australia’s sophisticated financial ecosystem as a key reason for market expansion.
‘Australia’s financial environment makes deep integration possible,’ Osborne says. ‘The new Open Banking framework exposes data points necessary for credit decisioning in a reliable and secure manner.’
Australia’s strong fintech infrastructure and clear regulatory environment offer a clear launching pad for Lendela’s offering, building on incumbent solutions used by lenders.
‘Most Australian financial institutions are already partially or entirely digital,’ says Osborne. ‘Lendela brings the personal lending ecosystem together by matchmaking consumers and lenders.’
Osborne believes Lendela’s platform will become an invaluable tool for lenders.
‘In a highly competitive lending space, customer acquisition costs are incredibly high for lenders. The customer experience is also extremely fragmented for borrowers comparing loan terms,’ he says. ‘Lendela’s proprietary loans-matching engine offers a better solution to both lenders and borrowers.’
How Austrade helped
Austrade provided Lendela with market insights and assisted with its go-to-market strategy.
The agency hosted business-matching meetings between Karimi and key players in Australia’s fintech ecosystem, including at the Intersekt conference in Melbourne and the Singapore Fintech Festival. Austrade also helped identify a visa pathway for Lendela’s Chief Technology Officer.
Support for Australian and Singaporean fintechs
Austrade and the Singapore FinTech Association signed an MoU in April 2023. The signing initiated Project Lorikeet, a new program to support Singaporean fintechs’ expansion into Australia, and Australian fintechs that want to explore opportunities in Singapore. Read more about the program.
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Published: 16 May 2023