Interview with Sebastian Harung, Founder of Kameo

What is Kameo about?

Kameo is a Scandinavian marketplace for SME loans. It was established to meet two clear challenges in the Scandinavian markets: SMEs do not get loans; investors do not get good returns. By directly connecting them, we hope to make the situation better for both. Kameo’s vision is to include more people in the financial markets.

Note from editor: Kameo will launch around next week.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

  • Better expected returns
  • Support SMEs, the most important employer in Scandinavia
  • Possibility to create diversified portfolios

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

  • Access to (more) funding
  • Quick and easy loan application
  • Flexible security & collateral structures

Sebastian Harung, KameoWhat ROI can investors expect?

Loans will be offered at 5 – 15 % per annum. At first, there will be no fees for investing through Kameo. We expect low default rates, based on historical data for Scandinavia and our thorough credit assessment. We can conservatively assume it to be around 1 – 3 % (naturally dependent on risk profile).

What is the background of the Kameo team? As some of you are Norwegian, why did you select the Swedish market for launch rather than Norway?

The team currently consists of five persons, of which only I am Norwegian. We have various backgrounds, but the same optimistic view of the future: alternative finance will transform Scandinavian banking, and it will become better for more people – it is the social democracy model, of which we Scandinavians are so proud.

We have a credit analyst with 20 years of SME analysis experience, a CTO that previously co-founded Avanza and developed its platform (Sweden’s largest net broker) as well as a marketing specialist and a business developer with backgrounds from digital marketing and corporate finance, respectively. My background is also from corporate finance at Norway’s largest bank, DNB.

And because we expect to grow, we will be looking to further strengthen the team next year.

While the largest owners are Norwegians, we chose to start in Sweden because the market is larger, it is a well-developed fintech-hub (#2 in Europe after London), and Kameo’s largest owner has a successful startup history in Sweden. In addition, the regulatory regime was easier when we started working with the idea (but this has since changed). We have, though, a clear ambition to cover Norway and Denmark next year, thus creating a Scandinavian marketplace (investors can create portfolios of Scandinavian loans.)

How is the company financed?

Two rounds of equity investments from co-founders, board members and angel investors. And I have sold my apartment and invested everything (except what I intend to lend through the platform in order to fund my daughter’s driver’s license in 16 years).

We will also be looking to raise more capital sometime next year, when we roll out in Norway and Denmark. Continue reading

Interview with Asger Trier Bing, CEO of Lendino

Interview with Asger Trier Bing, CEO of Danish service Lendino.

What is Lendino about?

  • Lendino is a marketplace lender for loans to SMEs in Scandinavia ranging from 20K-2M USD.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

  • Investors get a higher return than from similar asset classes.
  • Investors are enabled to invest in companies that appeal to them (CSR).
  • Investors can invest in their own local area or in a company of a friend.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

  • Borrowers get a lower interest on their loan, which will benefit them through decreased funding costs
  • It is faster and easier to apply for funding at Lendino than at a bank.
  • Borrowers can build a stronger relationship with customers who invest in their loans

What ROI can investors expect?

  • Investors should expect a net return of 5-8 percent

How did you start Lendino? Is the company funded with venture capital?

  • Lendino was launched in 2013 by Andreas Christensen and Asger Trier.
  • The vision is to improve finance.
  • The company has been funded by the founders until today.
  • A VC round is ongoing and is expected to close within 30 days.
  • It has a  mix of Danish and UK investors onboard. Continue reading

P2P Lending Sites in Europe

Visualizations are great to show data that would otherwise just be a long list. I decided to create a map of the p2p lending landscape in Europe. It shows active and discontinued p2p lending services in Europe (including p2p microfinance). Not listed are sites that are in pre-launch stage. All of these marketplaces have been featured earlier in the P2P-Banking.com blog. If you want more information about any of them just enter the name in the search box on the top right of this blog.

Notice to other websites: You are free to copy and use this map, provided you agree not to alter or resize the image and you will set a link to this article.

Notice to p2p lending sites: If you want to be included in a future version of this map, contact me to learn how.

MyC4 cancels 200,000 Euro pending Ivory Coast loans

Myc4 logoMyC4 will cancel 105 open and pending loans to borrowers in Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire). This is scheduled to take place next week. Money from the bids will be returned to the lenders. Some lenders are unsatisfied with the situation as the bids in these loans tied up their money for up to 6 weeks without interest.

Announcement from MyC4:

Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit have decided to cancel all open loans currently pending on the MyC4 platform. This is being done for two reasons.  First, both Ivoire Credit and Notre Nation are undergoing significant reorganization and operational changes, to plan for improvements and scaling of operations.  This is putting significant pressure on both organizations and we expect that there might be delay in some payments going forward. Second, there has been a relatively long period since many of these Businesses were uploaded, and the current expected loan disbursement dates. To ensure that the borrowers’ situations have not change would require a new due diligence of each, which current resources don’t allow, given the long list of loans.  Therefore and to protect Investors MYC4 has agreed to return all funds to Investors. This will be done within the next week. If you have money tied up in a Bid to any of these Providers your money will be transferred back into your Account immediately, when the cancellation is done of your specific loan. MYC4 is planning to cancel 105 loans.

MYC4 resume uploading of Businesses from Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit within the coming months, and they will continue to diligently manage the existing portfolio in the interim. If you have more questions please use the Blogs of Notre Nation and Ivoire Credit. We are sorry that your money has been inactive for 4-5 weeks and we apologize.

Source

How Fairrates’ problems became IOU Central’s headstart

IOU Central launched first in Canada. As I already mentioned in my first post on IOU Central they profited from the knowledge input the two founders of danish Fairrates.dk brought with them. Fairrates had problems with fraud cases due to incomplete access to credit histories.

Here are some interesting notes by Bartlomiej Owczarek from Virtuous Cycle taken at a conference in Poland where Fairrates founder Arkadiusz Hajduk, now product manager at IOU Central, gave a presentation:

  • The startup was initially located in Denmark
  • Two guys on a sofa
  • I liked the quote – “expert is a person who committed all possible mistakes in a narrow field of specialty”
  • Idea was inspired by Prosper
  • They didn’t bother with business plans and presentations (note: maybe not so good in the end, given later credit history problem, see below)
  • Nevertheless, they got angel from early on – entrepreneur, house builder
  • Features of their angel – did call from time to time, but otherwise didn’t require much reporting, in retrospect now they would prefer someone more of a “mentor” type
  • They coded for 4 months without office
  • Then they got office, at respectable location (good for customer trust)
  • They coded another 6 months when they had office
  • First version was seen and tested by some 30 people
  • Operating model assumed that they don’t make credit decision or take on risk – all this is on the lender
  • Highlight of the “growth” period – 90 minutes on the front page of a major business portal
  • After launch, lenders turned out not a huge problem; in a first week, one person offered equivalent of ca. PLN 50k
  • However, huge problem with (good) borrowers
  • Also, in Denmark there is no access to credit history (only yes/no credit problems query possible)
  • Side note: banks in Denmark do not care to advertise to people more than 25 years old, because no one ever changes the bank
  • They had two evident fraud cases
  • In the end, business model didn’t fly because of borrower problem (people took wait-and-see approach), resulting in the “decline” phase
  • Luckily, they were approached by people from Canada, who had non-technical capabilities in the area but needed technology platform, and they sold out
  • Angel apparently got 150% of his initial contribution
  • Lessons learned: don’t hesitate to kill your own ideas

(via Prosper Lending Review)

MyC4 – Microlending for profit to African entrepreneurs

myc4 betaDanish startup C4 World on it's platform MyC4 allows lenders to finance micro loans to African entrepreneurs (Afripreneurs). P2P briefly featured the MyC4 plans earlier. The goal is to "eradict poverty through business". The service is currently in beta, but signing up and lending at MyC4 is already possible.

MyC4 differs in its approach from Kiva: At MyC4 lenders do earn interest on the loans. Currently interest rates of 20-24% are typical with loan terms of 6 or 12 month.

myc4

P2P-Banking.com joined the Beta as a MyC4 Builder. The gathered experiences are published in an exclusive P2P-Banking.com review of MyC4:
http://www.wiseclerk.com/myc4-p2p-banking-review.pdf (0,4 MB, 3 pages)

P2P Lending in Denmark offered by Fairrates.dk

Today I received an email from Arkadiusz Hadjuk of Fairrates.dk informing me, that his company started to offer p2p lending in Denmark. Most of the following information was supplied by him.

At Fairrates.dk:

  • There are individual listings, both lending and borrowing
  • There are no groups
  • There is auction bidding down interest rates, both lending and borrowing
  • In case of non-payment (for over 1 month) a lender is assisted with
    a collection procedure
  • Minimum loan is 1000 DKK (approx. 135 Euro; approx $100)
  • There is no maximum a lender can lend
  • Maximum per loan is 50.000 DKK (approx. 6700 Euro; approx. $5100)
  • Borrower can request minimum 1000 DKK
  • Borrower can request maximum 50000 DKK until his income information
    is verified – then the limit is lifted up
  • Minimum bid is 1000 DKK
  • Only people over 18 years old with Danish CPR number and Danish bank
    account can lend/borrow
  • No interest on unlend deposits
  • Simple fee structure (borrower pays 1% of loan amount)
  • Risk assessment is based on information and documentation provided
    by borrowers.

I did technorati and Google searches for additional information. Since I don't speak Danish I could not find much additional information, only a profile of Arkadiusz Hadjuk and a CV of Robert Pawel Bialek (CEO).

Judging by forum activity at Fairrates.dk there is not much traffic yet.