N1 Finance: Aiming for the ASX

MPA talks to managing director of Sydney-based brokerage N1 Finance & Lease Ren Wong on lodging a prospectus to list on the ASX this year. 

N1 Finance also launched Australia's first Mandarin mortgage comparison website last year as part of their technology offering to clients. 

How did you decide that now is the right time for N1 Finance to go for Australian Securities Exchange IPO candidacy? 
We launched chengdai.com.au last year and the growth has exceeded expectations. We see ourselves as a disruptive online technology in the home loan sector and going IPO allows us to access capital to keep the momentum going and push the growth further especially into other cities out of Sydney.

Also we want to capitalize on the opportunity of booming housing finance especially in the Asian community as there has been a lot of off the plan activity in the last couple of years, which we foresee home loans needs arise when settlements due. 
 
What was the main reason behind it?
Mainly access to capital that allows us to scale our team by expanding operations and execute sales strategy, fund the growth of chengdai.com.au and allow N1 to do some acquisitions especially in the Fintech area.
 
What will it mean for you and your company if N1 is listed on the ASX?
It's a milestone for us, giving us the competitive edge to better service the market.

What are the plans moving forward for N1 if you are listed?
As per prospectus downloadable via n1holdings.com.au, being listed allows us access to capital to scale our team, fund the growth of chengdai.com.au and allow N1 to do some acquisitions especially in the complementing business services, or Fintech area, we are still seeking opportunities.
 
How long has the idea to be ASX listed been on your mind?
It has been on my mind probably for more than 18 months.
 
What advice would you give to other brokerages that may want to do this in future?
This is best consulted with a corporate advisor.
 
How is the website www.chengdai.com.au been going since its launch?
Launched in March 2015, by the end of October 2015, www.chengdai.com.au had received over 15,000 visits and had generated leads resulting in loan settlements of $9.22 million.
 
What have N1's loan applications and settlement numbers been like over the past 3 years?
From the commencement of FY13 to 30 September 2015, N1 has has settled over approximately $880 million of loans. Between FY13 and FY15, N1’s
settlement volume grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 113% with lodgement volume also increasing at a 73% compounded annual growth rate.

Between FY13 and FY15, N1’s revenue grew at a compound annual growth rate of 111%. N1 has had positive Pro forma EBITDA over the past 3 financial years

What are N1's plans for 2016?
N1’s future opportunities lie in continuing to take advantage of the growth of the Australian housing sector and growing N1’s proportion of loans originated by mortgage brokers in niche market segments. Our plan is to take advantage of the scalability of the website chengdai.com.au and execute the diversification in terms of geographical, products and languages. As a leading Chinese-language mortgage comparison website, we can easily scale the website by expanding into other cities, including more product as well as more languages.

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