Orange Money, a small business lender operating out of the U.K. announced in a press release on Feb. 24 that it would be acquiring Everline from embattled payday lender Wonga. This deal would make Orange Money (which trades under Ezbob) the largest e-business lender in the U.K., with a combined history of issuing over 5,000 business loans worth a combined 54 million pounds since 2012. It is also the only online SME lender that is an approved European Investment Fund (EIF) intermediary.
“This is an exciting acquisition for us, as it brings together two strong brands in Ezbob and Everline, both of which have disrupted traditional business lending,” remarked CEO Tomer Guriel. “Our market leading technology platform complements Everline’s well-positioned brand – the combination of the two will accelerate our growth, which has already been more than doubling year on year for each brand since launch.”
As a result of this merger, customers can now access up to 150,000 pounds in loans over an 18-month period, accessible either through Ezbob or Everline, according to an Everline post about the merger. The loans would be offered at an annual rate of 19 to 23 percent per year, in addition to arrangement fees at 4-6 percent of the original loan amount. Compared to Everline’s original offerings of 50,000 pounds over a 12-month span at a 26 percent annual rate, business lenders could save between 28 and 40 percent in loan costs depending on risk assessments, according to Orange’s press release.
In terms of personnel changes, Orange will bring on former Everline Managing Director Russell Gould, who ran the company from the beginning, as its chief operating officer as part of the merger.
“We look forward to working with [Russell] to take the strong foundations from both businesses and create an even stronger business for the future,” Guriel remarked on the new hire.