Israeli Investment House Psagot has announced an agreement to purchase 20% of multinational Peer to Peer (P2P) lending platform BLenders’ activity in Israel, pending regulatory approvals. No financial details from the deal have been revealed yet but it is known that Psagot will be adding its representative to the BLender Israel Board of Directors.
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Psagot is the largest investment house in Israel and manages assets valued at $50 billion for a million individuals, corporations and institutions. It is owned by Apax Partners, a UK-based private equity and venture capital firm.
BLender was selected as one of the most promising fintech companies in 2015 by The British Chamber of Commerce and KPMG. One of its unique features is that it allows lenders to sell their loan portfolios in the secondary market, providing liquidity. BLender finalized its Series A round last year, which was led by Blumberg Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund, to finance an expansion in Western Europe and Latin America.
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Psagot explains that the deal came after a thorough due-diligence of the field. BLender was chosen because of its technology, which also allows an automatic inspection of the borrowers in countries with no consumer credit rating information, and performs high quality matches between the borrower’s requests and the lenders expectations.
Dr. Gal Aviv, CEO of BLender, commented: “Israel is an important market for BLender. We are happy about this cooperation with Psagot, this is another step in placing BLender at the front-tier of the consumer credit market in Israel. The technology we have developed bridges gaps and solves the lack of credit rating of borrowers in Israel, and Psagot identified the potential lying in the technology and BLender itself. We offer a quick, attractive and technological solution that is a true alternative to the expensive credit provided by the banks and credit card companies”.
Hagai Badash, CEO of Psagot, said: “In the past few years since financial institutes in Israel have started entering the business credit market, we see a decrease in interest gaps and higher competition. On the other hand, we see the consumer credit market that is dominated by the banks and the interest rate gaps have remained high. The investment houses are the competition generators in the financial industry and can bring a major change to this market too. The combination between Psagot, the largest investment house in Israel, and the disruptive technology of Blender, is another strategic step towards improving the consumers’ financial position.
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