Harmoney claims to have pulled off the world's most successful peer-to-peer lending launch outside China.

In September the Auckland-based platform announced it had facilitated $100 million in lending and received loan applications worth $1 billion during its first 12 months of operation.

But founder and co-chief executive Neil Roberts said lending growth had ramped-up significantly since then, with $160 million in personal loans now having been made through Harmoney, which matches lenders and borrowers.

"We are the most successful platform launch in the world, China excluded," he said. "We've done that in a country that's really small and it's because of our combination of credit, tech and online experience."


RateSetter Australia, which Roberts said was Harmoney's closest competitor in Australasia, said this month that it had facilitated around A$15 million ($16.5 million) in loans in its first year.

Peer-to-peer lending was made possible in this country through an overhaul of financial markets law that came into force last year. Four New Zealand peer-to-peer operators are now licensed by the Financial Markets Authority. Harmoney - which is gearing up to launch in Australia, possibly early next year - charges fees for the use of its website.

Roberts said peer-to-peer lending had opened up a whole new asset class for New Zealanders who may have previously kept money in bank term deposits.

"If you chose to lend you get the interest income rather than the bank," he said. "You also take the risk, but that risk is entirely manageable."

Trade Me and Heartland Bank have taken equity stakes in Harmoney.