P2P Lending Marketplace Afluenta Raises 8M Series B From IFC and Elevar Equity

Afluenta LogoAfluenta, headquarted in Buenos Aires, announced today the completion of its Series B funding round from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector institution of the World Bank Group, and Elevar Equity, a venture capital firm. IFC and Elevar Equity are investing 4 million US$ each.

Afluenta seeks to disrupt the traditional financial services industry, cutting out middlemen and using proprietary technology to transform the process of applying for a loan, thus facilitating access to financing. Afluenta says it offers borrowers a simple, affordable and less bureaucratic experience, while delivering better yield for individual and institutional lenders.

A pioneer in the region, Afluenta plans to use the proceeds of the Series B financing for accelerating its network expansion plan across Latin America. Launched in Argentina in 2012 and in Peru in 2015, Afluenta plans to launch new services in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil in the next 12 months to consolidate as the first pan-regional player of this new and disruptive alternative financing. Continue reading

Interview with Alejandro Cosentino, CEO of Afluenta

What is Afluenta about?

Afluenta is a leading marketplace lending company in Latin America (LatAm) who connects creditworthy borrowers with investors, to create more convenient loans and better investment opportunities. Our advanced technology provides an innovative investment alternative for individuals and institutions lenders interested in getting better yields through investing in consumer loans without the traditional middleman.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

There are not many alternatives for investors across LatAm emerging markets. We believe that Afluenta is a truly new alternative with a potential high net yield and low volatility but being specific Afluenta provides:

  1. Better yields compared with traditional banking products since Afluenta removes banks, as intermediary, and allows to distribute the traditional banking spread between borrowers and lenders.
  2. It’s simple, secure and easy to understand and operate.
  3. There are many features on the platform to facilitate the use and trading fractional loans such as the Secondary Market which allow lenders to have liquidity.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

Although, compared with investment alternatives, there are plenty of choices to get a loan in our region, those alternatives are not cheaper, convenient or hassle free for borrowers so we designed a better loan processes and conditions to provide:

  1. Access to cheaper loans than those they can get in the traditional financial institutions
  2. Get loans faster. Applicants get a response about the loan admission in 20 seconds and the loan is funded in approximately 3 days so they get the money much faster.
  3. The entire process is hassle free. Potential borrowers just complete a short application and not are requested to provide physical information. 100% of the process is online.

Alejandro Cosentino, AfluentaWhat ROI can investors expect?

The net yield that investors can expect is, swapped in US dollars, an average of 21.5%. The loans are provided in local currency and always will be in local currencies no matter the country we will be operating in.

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

Afluenta was born in 2010 but for many years I had it in mind since I had a great experience in financial services obtained running American Express in LatAm as well as in Santander in Argentina and worked in Tech industry also in LatAm. In 2011 we fund raised from an angel investor to develop our technological development and then we got the approval from the Argentinean National Securities Commission to launch our operation initially in Argentina in September 2012. Since then we have grown to a large number of loans people to people

Afluenta was initially funded with my savings, then we got two fund raising rounds, Angel one and Series A (both of them Argentinean investors). We are about to close our Series B with US VCs and international institutional investors to support the regional expansion process.

What were the main milestones since your launch in 2012?

We set the rules for this industry in Latin American region. We operate as Lending Club or Prosper do their business in US. Afluenta is the first authorized P2P marketplace in the region. We solved the regulatory and tax issues initially in Argentina and then in Peru using current legislation allowing us to run a marketplace lender without asking for new laws or changing current regulations. On the other side, our technology is world class and Afluenta developed innovative features for lenders to operate simple, faster and profitable such as secondary market, automate investing, CRM of collections among other and add 100% transparency of all the data in the investment platform. Continue reading

Lendico Launches in Brazil

Lendico logoP2P Lending marketplace Lendico today announced the launch of its marketplace in Brazil.
In May Lendico closed a 20M round to grow the international offering of consumer and SME p2p loans. Now Lendico wants to develop the important Brasilian loan market.and has partnered with Banco BMG.

Lendico CEO Dominik Steinkühler, said: ‘In Brazil we have won Banco BMG as a strong local partner. This allows us an optimal market entry. Time is ripe for a change on the loan markets to enable borrowers access to better products’.

Marcelo Ciampolini, CEO Lendico Brazil added: ‘In the brazilian market banks are demanding enormous interest rates from borrowers. With our lean cost structure – 100% online, no branches and with innovative technology – we can hand over these cost advantages to the borrowers and offer then better terms. We offer a fast, burden free access to the best interest rates in the markets’. Continue reading

Lendico Launches P2P Lending in Spain

German p2p lending service Lendico will launch tomorrow in the Spanish market. ‘Spain is an attractive market with great potential due to the credit crunch since 2007,’ says CEO Dominik Steinkühler. Maximum possible loan amount is 25,000 EUR, offered at between 6.29% and 25% APR.

‘Lendico poses a direct threat to the comfortable position of traditional banks in the market. From the beginning Lendico was developed as a digital alternative to the banks,’ says Steinkühler.

The safeguards and regulations are similar to those of any bank. Lendico is a member of the National Association of Financial Credit (ASNEF) Establishments and works directly with Equifax for risk management and control of delinquency.

As reported earlier, all registered Lendico lenders, not just Spanish residents, will be able to lend.

Spain is the first international market Lendico expands into after launching in Germany in December 2013. While some functions are operated from the Berlin head office there is also an office in Madrid there. And Lendico says the team in Madrid is working on launching the service in South America.

Afluenta – P2P Lending in Argentina

Afluenta is a p2p lending service operating in Argentina. It has been reporting growth since its launch in September 2012. Afluenta offers loan terms of 1, 2 or 3 years. APRs are in the range of 35 to 50%. “We are more competitive than banks because we are faster, more economic and make a difference in quality. Our technology let us screen a prospect in 15 seconds and answer 85% of loan applications immediately, while it takes days or even weeks for banks to do so” Alejandro Cosentino, founder and CEO of Afluenta told P2P-Banking.com.

Recent News from P2P Lending Blogs

Here are some recently published articles on several p2p lending topics:

Sociallending.net: The Best Day to Borrow Money at Lending Club

P2P Lending News: Prosper and Lending Club Compete for Investor Market Share

CreditUnionTimes: Consultant Warns Banks and CUs Risk Becoming Passé

DoughRoller: Lending Club Investment Strategy (Update)

Janari Rahablog: Omaraha.ee laenude vahenduse portaal

GlobalVoices: Brazil: Crowdfunding Potential

Fairplace Faces Investigation by Federal Police

Fairplace, the first p2p lending service in Brazil, faces an investigation by the Federal Police (Polícia Federal). Launched in April Fairplace so far facilitated 2.5 million BRL (approx. 1.5 million US$) loans. Apparently the Central Bank requested an investigation as early as August 10th, claiming that Fairplace violates laws that prohibit companies that are not financial institutions to operate in financial markets.

In December then the Federal Public Ministry of St. Paul (Ministério Público Federal) asked the Federal Police to open an investigation. According to press coverage penalties for the possible violations range up to four years imprisonment.

Separate investigations are undertaken by the Brazil Securities Commission (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM)).

Founder Eldes Matiuzzo says his company does not provide loans but only offers a platform to match lenders and borrowers. He added that the company checked the legal situation before launching.

Nevertheless Fairplace suspended the auction of new loans on the site on Dec. 15th.

Fairplace – P2P Lending in Brazil

Fairplace.com.br recently launched the first p2p lending service in Brazil. With approx. 190 million inhabitants Brazil could prove an interesting market for peer to peer lending. While financial institutions are the most common source for loans, consumers face lots of paperwork and high interest.

Founder Eldes Matiuzzo knows that, for he worked 14 years for Unibanco. He says user response since the launch is promising with about 25 registrations per day.

Each loan application undergoes risk assessment (Fairplace uses Seresa Experian Data) and only about 20 percent of applications are approved.

Loan requests are listed for a 14 day auction. Borrowers pay fees only if the loan is successfully funded. Fees listed are 5% for one year loans and 8 percent for two year loans. There are additional fees for credit assessment and each repayment installment. Lenders are charged 2% of each repayment (repaid principal + interest).

Currently the average interest rate at Fairplace is 2.99 percent per month, which is much lower than the average for the Brazilian market.

MyMicroCredit – P2P Microfinance to the Needy

Karl Rabeder was a successful entrepreneur and rich. But being a millionaire did not make him happy and he was seeking a purpose in life. So he sold his villa in Austria, his house in France and his 5 sailplanes and moved into a small 1 room apartment in Innsbruck.

Now he dedicates his time to the p2p microfinance non profit he founded: MyMicroCredit.org. MyMicrocredit enables lenders to fund loans to needy persons in Latin America, Asia and Africa with the objective to become self-employed. Currently MyMicroCredit partners with the MFI Apoyo Integral in El Salvador, Nicaragua, concentrating on funding education projects for agriculture teachers.

I contributed 25 EUR towards a 24 months loan. The website display of projects (see left) bears resemblance to Kiva. No registration is necessary to lend. This allows fast and easy funding but has the disadvantage that lenders cannot login to see a portfolio of what loans they did fund.

Lenders will by notified be email upon repayment of a loan and can then decide to reinvest or withdraw their money.

(Sources:  Chrismon, P2P-Kredite.com)