Peer-to-peer lender Harmoney is set to make a bigger push to get mum-and-dad investors on board as it faces competition from two new entrants.

The online business which aims to provide cheaper consumer finance than the banks attracted 10,000 sign-ups from members of the public wanting to loan their money out in its first year.

Around 3000 of those are what it considers to be active investors - those who had made more than one deposit in the last year.

Monica Mathis, Harmoney general manager of sales and marketing, said it had hoped to fund around 30 to 35 per cent of its loans from retail investment.


"We currently have around 25 per cent," Mathis said.

But she said recent months had seen 40 to 50 per cent of loans funded by the retail public.

The company loaned out $100 million in its first year although it had around $1 billion in loan inquiries. Investors received an average return of 13 per cent after fees and defaults.

Mathis said it "didn't go mad" with advertising to get investors on board in its first year and had spent its money on trying to attract borrowers instead.

But the company planned to look more closely at both sides now and was lining up a variety of packages to attract investors, some of which would be launched in the coming months.

The move comes as the company faces increased competition. Two other companies - LendMe and Squirrel Money - have received licences from the Financial Markets Authority to undertake peer-to-peer lending.

Both have yet to begin operating but are expected to launch before the end of the year.

Harmoney chairman Rob Campbell said the company welcomed the competition but was more concerned about potential damage to the fledgling market if something were to go wrong.


"What we worry most about, when they do launch, is are they good quality, do they have good governance?" Campbell said. "That is our biggest issue with a new market like this."

Campbell said it had confidence that the FMA's licensing regime was vigorous.