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.