Wisr (ASX:WZR) record quarterly loan growth

Interviews

by Jessica Amir

Wisr (ASX:WZR) CEO, Anthony Nantes talks about the neo-lender record quarter of loan growth and how its competitive rates, broker network and technology are fuelling expansion.

Jessica Amir: Thanks for your company. I'm Jessica Amir at the Finance News Network and today I'm with the CEO of Wisr (ASX:WZR), Anthony Nantes. Anthony, great to see you again and welcome back.

Anthony Nantes: Thanks. Good to be here.

Jessica Amir: So first up, Anthony, a great set of numbers today, well done, but before we dive into those, I just want to pause on an introduction to Wisr (ASX:WZR). For those who aren't familiar with your roundup app or the business, just give us an introduction.

Anthony Nantes: Yes, we talk about being Australia's first neo-lender, and what that means is we're really redefining what a consumer lending company can be. We're building the consumer lending business of the future. We're building it here and now. So that's something genuinely unique and different in this space. A purpose led company committed to the financial wellness of all Australians and bringing together a kind of a best of both worlds of all the best bits of fintech together to deliver something that's quite unique for consumers in Australia.

So what that means is we're doing more than what a traditional lender does. We're delivering tools, apps, products and services focused around financial wellness for all Australians. And then vertically integrating them into our lending business to build something that's actually innovative, not just in an Australian context, but in a global context as well.

Jessica Amir: And that flows through to your results, as we said earlier, brilliant numbers. So your loan origination year on year, that's up about 300 per cent, take us through that.

Anthony Nantes: Yeah, it's really been a transformational year for the company as we've started to really solidify that foundation and the results of loan origination growth this year have been a testament to that. Beyond that, our quarter on quarter results, our half on half results are really starting to show that trajectory upwards for the company.

Jessica Amir: And what are the quarterly results? Take us through those.

Anthony Nantes: So this last quarter we do have another 17 per cent quarter on quarter growth in terms of loan origination. We kept our operating loss fairly consistent at about 2.8 million, as well as delivering a whole range of strategic benefits for the company. That's really delivering on that strategy that we've outlined to the market. We also surpassed 108 million dollars in total loans originated to date. And on top of that with closing out the second tranche of our capital raise, now we have a healthy 15 million dollars of cash available to really drive the company forward in the coming quarters.

Jessica Amir: And what were the other strategic highlights for the quarter?

Anthony Nantes: So we've announced a raft of things in this recent quarter. We've seen early signs of proof around the Wisr app as that product really starts to take hold in the Australian market. More than 25,000 downloads in the first few weeks after launching that app. We're seeing our Wisr credit financial wellness platform continue to grow in scale, over 35,000 users on that platform now. And we're starting to announce more strategic partnerships as we take that financial wellness ecosystem out to market through broader commercial partnerships.

In the last quarter we announced Smartgroup, a tremendous partner to bring on board. And we'll look to partner with them, take our financial wellness ecosystem to their 4,000 employer clients, with access to a million Australians at the point of pay, at the point of employment. And really redefine again what a lending company of the future can actually be doing.

Beyond that, we'll continue to deliver on our core proposition of loan volume growth with tremendous results again across our loan originations.

Jessica Amir: Moving back to your year on year unaudited full year results, we also saw revenue data ahead as well. Take us through that.

Anthony Nantes: That's right. So revenue is up to 2.9 million, up about 82 per cent year on year. And we delivered about a 7.3 [million (unaudited)] loss before tax, which is up about 18 per cent. But taken in context of how much we delivered this year, the extraordinary growth across loan origination, launching new products to market, building an ecosystem that's got 50-60,000 Australians into it now, bringing on board partners. You can really see it's a tremendous result.
Another proof point around that is, you know, looking at our marketing spent, it's been relatively flat both half on half a year on year. But delivering more than 200 per cent loan origination growth for that same marketing spend. So we're really getting more Australians aware of the brand. More touch points, both through big corporate partnerships that we've announced, like Smartgroup (ASX:SIQ), like HC, a superannuation company, and building out an entire ecosystem model.

Jessica Amir: And Anthony, you also announced that your debt funding model is really evolving. Just take us through what this actually means.
Anthony Nantes: Yeah, and this is quite consistent with the way most high-growth kind of loan fintechs evolve. You know, the funding models that we've had in place to date have been the models that have supported us through early stage of growth. We've had to give away a lot of our margin to those capital partners in order to support the early growth of the company. We now have the opportunity to really refocus those types of relationships and that delivers a range of benefits for the company. It creates a level of security and de-risking for the company. A diversification of partners provides benefits to our consumers in a whole range of ways. It supports the future growth of the company. And most importantly, it increases the margins that Wisr (ASX: WZR) can make through the model.

Jessica Amir: And just lastly, before we let you go Anthony, what else can we expect from Wisr? What's next?

Anthony Nantes: As we go forward, it's really about executing on this strategy, which is really a world's first. Building that consumer lending company of the future, being known in Australia for financial wellness, and continuing to drive those core metrics inside of the company. Increasing our margins, delivering loan growth quarter on quarter, half on half and year on year. And getting more touch points to more Australians through our financial wellness ecosystem.

Jessica Amir: Well, Anthony Nantes, it's been great to chat to you again and congratulations on all your success.

Anthony Nantes: Thank you very much.


Ends

Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter with Prime7 and Win News.