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Rupert, James, Kerry: Old Gang Together On Peer-To-Peer Start-Up

Rupert, James, Kerry: Old Gang Together On Peer-To-Peer Start-Up

The consortium also includes financial services group Challenger and is expected to announce an investment of more than $10 million in the Westpac -backed company, according to reports.

 Australian Financial Review sources say Westpac will also invest more money in SocietyOne to help finance new staff, additional marketing and extra balance-sheet capacity.

Peer-to-peer lending is one of the fastest-growing financial services categories, with the San Francisco-based Lending Club poised to list on the New York Stock Exchange next week with a valuation of $US4 billion (A$4.8 billion). 

The system is said to have grown out of the failure of big banks around the world to use technology to offer alternative types of loans to customers.

SocietyOne matches borrowers and investors online, offering both sides of the transaction more attractive interest rates than banks.

Founded in August 2012 by Matt and Greg Symons, who are not related, and Andy Taylor, the business attracted the interest of Westpac’s private equity arm, Reinventure Group, in March.

The Fin reported in June that Crown Resorts chairman Packer, News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch and Seven chairman Kerry Stokes were interested in the business. 

The consortium underlines improved relations between Stokes and Murdoch, culminating in a business partnership being explored by the two media moguls with Seven. News is said to be also in talks about a streaming joint venture backed by Foxtel.