NEW YORK, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Backed, the online lending platform that has digitized co-signing of personal loans, today announced it has finalized its debt financing deal with Israel's largest financial institution, Harel Insurance and Finance. Harel has also participated in Backed's extended seed round, and has become a lead equity investor. Backed and Harel are setting up an independent special purpose funding vehicle for financing its growing loan portfolio.
Backed was founded with the mission of helping individuals with thin or no credit history gain access to fair loans. Its unique co-signing mechanism is fully digitized, and allows the Backer (co-signer) to keep track of the loan progress and to step in to cover missing payments if necessary. Backing is designed to help borrowers and Backers avoid defaults, rather than impose added risk on the co-signers. Simultaneously, the co-signing model allows Backed to offer competitive returns to its investors, with reduced risk due to its co-signing mechanism.
"We are thrilled to have Harel on board; They are a sophisticated investor that can back the company in growing both its loan portfolio and product line. We are pleasantly surprised to see the portion of co-signed loans constitute more than 35% of our loan portfolio to date, exceeding our expectations," says Gilad Woltsovitch, CEO & Founder at Backed. "We get to help individuals who really have no fair option out there and we are especially satisfied each time parents help out their child by backing refinancing or move-in loans, as well as older individuals, backing their spouse for better rates on other loan products such as home improvement loans."
Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. is Israel's largest insurance and financial group. In 2015, with a market share of about 22%, Harel continues to show stability and presents growth of 9% of total premiums and management fee revenue of about NIS 19 billion for the 2nd year in a row, as of December 31, 2015. Harel's balance sheet totaled of NIS 91.5 billion as of December 31, 2015 (compared with NIS 89.3 billion as of December 31, 2014). The Group is Israel's largest and most dominant in the field of health insurance with a market share of 42.6%, the second largest in non-life insurance in terms of premiums, the 3rd largest (in terms of premiums) in life insurance and the 4th largest in mutual funds. Group assets under management, in insurance, pension funds, provident funds, mutual funds and financial services, as of December.
Backed was founded in 2014, by Gilad Woltsovitch, along with Kfir Moyal, and Assaf Ben Assher, serial entrepreneurs in the online media space, who previously founded the publicly traded Matomy Media Group. The company has an R&D center in Tel Aviv and offices in NY and SF where risk, compliance, and operations are based. So far, the company has raised funds from US and Israeli private investors such as Itzhak Fisher, and from early stage funds Cyhawk Ventures and iAngles.
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