Meitav Dash Takes Stake in Online Lending Startup

Peer-to-peer lending is expected to show rapid grown in coming decade.

Dudu Bachar

The investment house Meitav Dash made its first foray into online consumer loans Sunday, saying it had acquired 20% of eLoan for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction, which industry sources estimated at several-million shekels, marks the first time an Israeli financial services company is taking a stake in an online platform.

eLoan, which acts as an intermediary between people who want to borrow or lend, is a tiny company that has made just 8.3 million shekels ($2.1 million) in loans since it was launched 18 months ago.

But the kind of peer-to-peer lending that eLoan engages in is expected to show rapid growth in the coming decade. PwC, the accounting and consulting firm, estimates that worldwide social lending will grow to $150 billion within a decade, from $5.5 billion this year.

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to borrow money after being vetted. The lender can then post his or her application to a board, where investors can offer loans of up to 47,500 shekels.