Barclays Africa (formerly Asba) has acquired a 49% stake in South African peer-to-peer lending marketplace RainFin. Financial terms were not disclosed.
RainFin says that the cash injection will help it to start developing a corporate product range, which will soon include supply chain finance, enterprise development funding, fixed asset purchases and mid-sized corporate debt products.
Sean Emery, CEO, RainFin, says: "This shows that the peer-to-peer lending model has come of age in South Africa and this transaction brings the concept into the mainstream of the country's financial services sector."
Big banks and institutional investors have recently begun sniffing around P2P lenders, with City Group, Capital One, Bank of Montreal and Deutsche Bank all buying up loans originated through these platforms.
Says a Barclays Africa spokesperson: "We believe that a well-structured, suitably regulated, scalable and secure peer-to-peer exchange will compliment and supplement our present lending channels."