Australia has seen a significant growth within its alternative lending market in only the last few months. Some players are entering the nation from abroad, like OnDeck, which announced plans to launch in Australia in April.
But domestic startups in the alternative finance space, like Kikka, are helping to make Australia a robust market for small businesses seeking working capital.
Another local alt-lender is showing just how successful the domestic competition can be. ThinCats Australia, the local unit of U.K.-based ThinCats, has only been in the nation since December. But already the company said it plans to expand its lending base, and could even launch as a public company.
Reports published late last week revealed that ThinCats Australia is now looking to add more lenders to its existing 203 and more than 80 borrower referral sources. In addition to private and direct trade investment, the firm is also mulling an IPO. There is reportedly an array of credit unions and private equity funds in talks with ThinCats for a strategic partnership.
“We are in deep discussions with a number of parties about or platform,” said CEO Sunil Aranha, “which specifically targets the more than 2 million of SME businesses whose incremental financial needs are often ignored by big lenders.”
The executive added that in the process of capturing a significant share of an estimated $15 billion market, ThinCats Australia is exploring expanding its lending products.
Its initial set of loans ranged in interest rates between 11.5 and 14 percent and has secured borrowers in an array of sectors, including building, solar energy and industry.
According to Aranha, the platform attracts lenders with higher returns thanks to a new fixed income asset class, reports said, as well as sophisticated risk mitigation with fractional lending.