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New marketplace lending platform set to launch in early 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 November 2016
Nava Finance Ltd, has announced its intention to launch a new marketplace lending platform branded “Nava”, aimed at the near-prime consumer credit market in early 2017. Subject to completion of its regulatory approval process, Nava will draw upon sophisticated credit analytics to provide under-served consumer credit profiles with attractive loan pricing, while also addressing institutional investors’ search for yield from well underwritten risks. 

Nava was co-founded by Joseph Dlutowski, Abhai Rajguru and Richard Lee, who between them have over 75 years’ combined experience in and around financial services, particularly with consumer credit and early stage high growth businesses, and have a successful track record of high value exits. The founders’ exits to strategic and private equity buyers have, to date, generated a total enterprise valuation of over £250 million.

The co-founders identified an opportunity based on the ongoing dominance of traditional high street banks – despite the imposition of unfavourable capital requirements post the 2008 crash – and the relatively limited inroads to date made by alternative lenders, in particular peer to peer lenders. They believe that their extensive experience of intense credit analytics delivers superior price/risk combinations that are attractive to both borrowers and investors. This, coupled with a sophisticated approach to data and a slick but effective application process, provides a basis for rapid origination growth. Nearly two years into development, Nava is currently testing its online lending platform and working towards its initial launch phase.

Abhai Rajguru, co-founder and CFO of Nava Finance, stated: “Our business model, which focuses on institutional investors only and retail borrowers, enables us to operate more efficiently and limits conduct risk.”

“Nava’s founders’ key point of difference from other challenger lenders is experience in not just credit but across multiple aspects of building and operating financial services business across several economic cycles. We are particularly interested in working the credit profiles of borrowers with some mild complexity to offer them loans priced on more attractive terms than they might otherwise face. At the same time this allows Nava to offer institutional investors an attractive risk profile on a net yield basis, and access to a growing, yield-bearing asset class. Nava’s borrowers and lenders benefit further from lower capital requirements compared to banks and an absence of legacy cost structures or limitations of older IT platforms.”

Rajguru added: “Institutional interest in alternative lenders, such as peer to peer, went through an early hype cycle that saw the rapid growth of some of today’s market leaders in the alternative lending space, but also saw an excessive number of thinly capitalised and rapidly brought to market platforms. Through Nava, we have sought to offer institutional investors a fully thought-out business model that builds on the positives, while also recognising the limitations of prior lending platforms. Nava is focused only on lending and is built for rapid and scalable growth.”

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