Wisr makes $1.8 trillion European play

  • By Christine St Anne

Dubbed as a “highly strategic first step,” neo-lender Wiser will take a small minority stake in European based fintech Abor, paving the way for global expansion into a trillion dollar consumer finance market. 

Under the arrangement, Wisr has executed a term sheet to invest, through a convertible loan structure in the European financial wellness fintech platofm Arbor. The upfront cash consideration is $400,000. 

The investment will give Wisr a minority shareholding in Arbor, with a pathway to potentially increase the shareholding to 45 per cent over the next 36 months.

This will give Wisr access to a $1.76 trillion consumer finance market in Europe. 

“While we remain focused on the significant growth potential in our home market, the Arbor investment provides the potential to extend our model into a much bigger market over time,” Wisr CEO Anthony Nantes said.

“The modest upfront consideration means we do not require additional capital for completion, with any follow-on investment staged around the achievement of various milestones and entirely at Wisr’s option,” Nantes said. 

Arbor uses a digital wallet to offer savings, investment and lending features to almost 100,000 customers, and is growing its user base circa 20 per cent month-on-month. 

Arbor’s revenue streams include a customer subscription-based model for its platform, as well as lending revenue via a recently launched “ethical loan” product.

Wisr and Arbor will share IP across both organisations, with Wisr assisting in delivering an ethical lending experience to Arbor’s customers through Arbor’s proprietary financial wellness platform. 

Nantes said both businesses share the same goals and united vision in “disrupting the outdated credit model with a superior alternative”. 

“We’ve proven the effectiveness of the Wisr Financial Wellness Platform domestically, with over 350,000 Australians on the platform and our data is showing enormous benefits to both Wisr, and to our customers that use it. 

We’re very excited for the year ahead and look forward to supporting Arbor, sharing IP and capability in our markets, as we both grow truly innovative consumer finance companies that change the landscape for consumers.”