Marketlend, Australia’s leading peer-to-peer trade credit platform, today announced that it has closed a $1 million investment round led by Jon Barlow, who has been appointed as a non-executive member of Marketlend’s board of directors.
Mati Szeszkowski, the former leader of KKR’s European technology team, in addition to two Australian investors also participated in the round. The investment round represents the first intake of external equity financing for Marketlend, which was previously funded by Mr. Tyndall since its inception in 2014. Mr. Barlow and Mr. Szeszkowski have also committed to fund debt investments on the Marketlend platform.
Founded in 2014 by Leo Tyndall, Marketlend provides investors a unique opportunity to invest in supply chain or debtor lending facilities secured by short-term receivables, primarily from mid and large sized Australian businesses. A global insurance company protects Marketlend against insolvency of the borrower and its debtors enabling uninterrupted principal repayment on the majority of Marketlend’s lending facilities, and providing investors with significant credit enhancement while enabling borrowers to receive better interest rates.
Mr. Barlow is the founder and former CEO of Eaglewood Capital Management, one of the world’s leading P2P asset-management firms with approximately $2 billion of assets under management. Under Barlow’s leadership, the firm completed the first-ever securitization of P2P loans, earning Eaglewood the Innovator of the Year Award at the 2014 LendIt Conference. In 2014 Mr. Barlow led the sale of the company to an affiliate of Marshall Wace (MW Eaglewood), a London-based alternative asset manager, and served as MW Eaglewood’s global CEO until 2015, during which time he oversaw the successful initial public offering of P2P Global Investments (ticker “P2P”), the world’s first publicly traded peer-to-peer debt investment vehicle, on the London Stock Exchange. He currently serves as a director and advisor to several fintech companies, including Harmoney, Australasia’s largest consumer P2P lender.
“I was initially attracted to Marketlend because of the superior value proposition offered to credit investors on their platform - to be insured and secured while earning a strong return on their capital,” Mr. Barlow said. “Furthermore, Marketlend’s world class investment structure, modelled after large, institutional quality securitizations in Australia, is among the best I have seen in the peer-to-peer lending sector globally. The P2P business model is relatively new in Australia, and I believe the company is poised to grow substantially as both institutional and retail investors discover the unique merits of this platform.” Mr. Barlow’s investment was consummated following a multi-month due diligence process, in which Clifford Chance advised on legal matters and Deloitte performed an internal audit.
Mati Szeszkowski is the Founder of Norland Capital, a technology investment firm. Mr. Szeszkowski has been in the technology sector for nearly 20 years. Mr. Szeszkowski was the head of technology private equity at KKR out of London from 2007 to 2013 and prior to KKR was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and a founding Principal of Orange Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with Orange / France Telecom. Mr. Szeszkowski was also an Associate at The Boston Consulting Group and holds a BA in Economics from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Leo Tyndall, CEO and Founder of Marketlend said; “We recognize the need to bring a scalable marketplace lending operation to the Australian business lending space. Our model is based on providing three key strengths: an innovative technology solution for the financing of company receivables and payables locally and offshore; accompanying the investments with risk protection enhancements being insurance and first loss protection; and securitizing the loans on inception to meet the needs of investors including institutional investors. We are thrilled to add Jon, a shareholder and on the board of directors and Mati, as a shareholder.”