Skybound Capital acquires Australia’s Fair Go Finance for $20m

Fair Go Finance team

Skybound Capital, a global wealth management firm with offices in London and Hong Kong, has acquired a majority stake in Australian fintech company Fair Go Finance for A$20 million ($13.6 million), according to a statement.

Skybound takes a 60 per cent stake in Fair Go Finance from Frankfurt-listed MyBucks SA, which acquired a 75 per cent stake in the online loans provider in 2017 for A$3 million ($2 million).

Founded in 2008, Fair Go provides fast online credit and personal loans to its customers. The company said it has seen steadfast performance over the past five years due to Australia’s vibrant fintech sector.

The online loans provider doubled its size in 2018 after it acquired the Australian operations of a global competitor, CapFin Money. The acquisition created one of the largest non-bank personal loan lenders in the Australian small loan market back then.

Skybound Capital, which provides a diverse range of investment products for family offices, private clients, advisors, and institutions, said the acquisition of a 60-per cent stake in Fair Go gives the company the opportunity to grow its exposure in the Australian market.

“The partnership brings new opportunities for us locally, with investments in debt and equity, and the implementation of a new business strategy leveraging the understanding of the Australian consumer credit market,” said Jeremy Thorpe, Managing Director and CEO, Skybound Capital Australia

For the Mandurah-headquartered Fair Go Finance, the acquisition will give the business the means to expand into new markets, build upon the existing innovations in technology, and continue to evolve the company in a competitive market.

“This investment will enable us to pursue new avenues of finance technology and growth opportunities quicker given Skybound’s access to global capital markets,” Fair Go Finance CEO Paul Walshe said.

The acquisition comes at a time when more Australians are ditching the big banks and taking out personal loans with other lenders. According to a November 2018 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, banks in the country continue to lose market share from their dominant days back in 2010.

Big banks account for 72 per cent of the total personal loans market in November while smaller non-bank lenders doubled their share from 14 per cent to 28 per cent in the last eight years.

Online lending has also gained traction in some parts of Asia as a huge chunk of the region’s population remains unbanked. In the Philippines, however, the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered this month the shutdown of 30 online lending apps that lack permits to operate and have allegedly been unreasonable and abusive to their borrowers.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.