RentSmart gets funding boost

RentSmart gets funding boost

RentSmart has received a significant capital injection from a group of investors which could potentially move the Perth-based computer finance specialist into international markets.

The investors have purchased a 35 per cent stake in the private company, the most significant of these being Australian Capital Equity (ACE), a Kerry Stokes business.

ACE now owns 10 per cent of RentSmart and has gained one of the four seats on the board. The remaining investors, who now collectively own 25 per cent of the company, wish to remain anonymous.

RentSmart offers small business and home office owners a leasing option on computing and office furniture products at several of Australia's largest retailers, including Coles Myer, Woolworths and Vox. Its mission is to finance those business purchases too small to be handled efficiently by a bank and too large for a credit card.

Managing director and founder Ned Montarello said that although he was not prepared to detail the exact amount of the funding, it went "well into the millions of dollars".

After receiving approaches from the likes of Packer-owned company CPH, Montarello decided the only partners the company would let buy in on RentSmart would be those that have contributed to the company's past growth, or will be likely to contribute in the future.

"The partners we've got now are the most appropriate ones for growth," he said. "It is a flattering show of confidence for our business model."

Montarello believes the capital injection will further RentSmart's growth, which has been 40 per cent year-on-year since its inception in 1996 and 75 per cent in the last financial year. He also hinted that RentSmart may be considering international expansion.

"We are nationally based at present, but we can see the replication of those same scenarios in different marketplaces," he said.

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