Funding Societies Reaches Milestone of 1 Billion SGD in SME Lending

Funding Societies*, an SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia with presence in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, Funding Societies has facilitated more than 1 million business loans to SMEs through a base of more than 150,000 individual and institutional investors in the last 4 years since inception in 2015. Funding Societies expanded its loan volume by 3 times in the last 12 month stating a default rate of 1.5%. Funding Society claims this to be the highest amount given out by any SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia.

Funding societies founders Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya
Funding Societies Founders Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya

The growth in SME loans with Funding Societies is reflective of the increasing openness amongst businesses towards new generation funding options. As per the EY, UOB and Dun and Bradstreet report ‘Asean SMEs – Are you transforming for the future’, 67.8% of the SMEs are now open to non-traditional lenders including lending platforms. Alternative financing providers like Funding Societies are addressing this segment by providing technology backed funding solutions for the growth of local businesses.

Read an interview P2P-Banking conducted with the founders 4 years ago.

Kelvin Teo, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Funding Societies, commented, ‘What SMEs need is not subprime banking, but a different banking. We’re honored to have partnered with many SMEs in their growth journey. It hasn’t been easy, as SME financing is a patient business. We hope to work even closer with SMEs in 2020, in line with our belief of ‘stronger SMEs, stronger societies’ since 2015.’

Funding Societies specialises in all forms of short-term unsecured financing up to 2 million SGD, with funds disbursed as early as the next day. Funding Societies’ SME clients ranges from micro businesses and SMEs to small listed companies looking for working capital financing. For platform investors, the minimum amount is low starting from 20 SGD per investment. Other than individuals Funding Societies also has regulated financial institutions and funds who invest into loans on the platform.

Funding Societies is backed by Sequoia India and Softbank Ventures Asia Corp.

International P2P Lending Volumes October 2019

The table lists the loan originations of p2p lending marketplaces for last month. Mintos* leads ahead of Zopa and Ratesetter*. The total volume for the reported marketplaces in the table adds up to 703 million Euro. I track the development of p2p lending volumes for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file, I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending platforms. This month I added Kameo* and TFGcrowd*. Fundingsecure was removed due to insolvency.

Milestones in cumulative volume lent crossed this month:

Investors living in national markets with no or limited selection of local p2p lending services can check this list of international investing on p2p lending services. Investors can also explore how to make use of current p2p lending cashback offers available. UK investors can compare IFISA rates.

p2p lending statistic october 2019
Table: P2P Lending Volumes in October 2019. Source: own research

Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the purpose of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.

Links to the platforms listed in the table: Ablrate*, Archover*, Assetz Capital*, Bitbond*, Bondora*, Bondster*, Colectual*, Credit.fr*, Crowdproperty*, Debitum Network*, Dofinance*, Estateguru*, Fellow Finance*, Finansowo*, Finbee*, Folk2Folk*, Geldvoorelkaar*, Growly*, Grupeer*, Investly*, Iuvo Group*, Kameo*, Klear*, Landbay*, Landlordinvest*, Lending Works*, Linked Finance*, Look&Fin*, Mintos*, MyTrippleA*, Neofinance* ,October*, Peerberry*, Proplend*, Ratesetter*, Rebuilding Society*, Savy*, Smartika*, Soisy*, Sourced*, Swaper*, TFGcrowd*, ThinCats*, Twino*, Viainvest*, Viventor*, Zopa*.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed: Continue reading

Brief: Funding Secure Fails – Now in Administration

fundingsecure logoUK property p2p lending marketplace Funding Secure was placed in administration today, Oct. 23rd, 2019. Jonathan Avery-Gee, Edward Avery-Gee and Daniel Richardson of CG & Co were appointed Administrators of the Company. No deposits and withdrawal requests from investors are currently processed anymore. More detailed information is provided in this FAQ.

Funding Secure provided roughly 315M GBP funding, mostly for property development loans, but also for pawn loans. The outstanding loan book stands at approximately 80M GBP. The accumulated loan book represents approximately 486 loans from about 3,500 investors.

The FCA has issued a statement on this page.

This is the 3rd failure of a British property p2p lending marketplace following the earlier demise of the platforms Collateral and Lendy.

 

Which P2P Lending Marketplaces in Europe Accept American Investors?

European p2p lending services are growing. And yields of 10+% are achievable on some of the platforms. This attracts international investors. But if you are a US resident, you may have made the experience that you cannot register on some marketplaces. This is mainly due to KYC (know-your-customer) and AML (anti-money-laundering) requirements, which get more complicated if the client is outside Europe.

I have asked many of the European p2p lending marketplaces, whether they accecpt US residents and US companies as investors.

Here is an overview of 5 services (sorted aplphabetically) that do allow US investors. I have not provided a review for each of the service as the article would have gotten too long, but you can easily find news and reviews by entering the company name into the search box on the upper right of this blog.

On some platforms you need a bank account in the European Union. In most cases Transferwise* borderless or Revolut* will help (while technically e-money accounts, they function pretty similar to bank accounts) and do not charge any monthly fees. They are both very useful for currency conversion (Revolut is better). On Assetz Capital the currency is GBP. On the other marketplaces it is EUR. Mintos has additional currencies. Transferwise borderless is available in all US states except Hawaii and Nevada. Revolut* is currently rolling out the service in the US.

Mentioned new customer cashbacks were correct at the time of the publication of this article. If you are reading the article at a later time, it may have changed. A current list of cashback offers is here.

Assetz Capital

Assetz Capital* is a marketplace for UK SME and property development loans. The liquid ‘access’ products offer 4.1% to 5.75% interest. Other product types offer higher rates.
US investors are welcome. UK bank is account required – see notes above. US companies are eligible, but verification might take longer than for individuals. Expect 1-10 days for company registration.

Assetz Capital cashback for new investors: 50-250 GBP (dependent on investment amount; minimum 1000 GBP). To get it just register using this link: Assetz Capital registration and start lending

bondora-logo-2016bBondora

Bondora* is an Estonian p2p lending marketplace for consumer loans. The highly liquid Go&Grow product offer yields 6.75%. With other products higher yields of 10+% are achievable.
US investors need to be accredited investors to use Bondora. A bank account in the European Union is not necessary. US companies are eligible to invest. Bondora recommends that interested US investors and companies contact them at investor@bondora.com or by phone at +44 1568 6300 06 (during business hours, Mo-Fr: 9–17 EET) to check eligibility and clear any questions concerning registration.

Bondora cashback for new investors: 5 EUR, to get it just register using this link: Bondora registration and start lending

Estateguru LogoEstateguru

Estateguru* is an Estonian marketplace for property loans. Typical interest rates are 10-12%.
US residents are eligible, if they have a bank account in the EEA (European Economic Area) – see notes above. US companies can invest, if they have a bank account in the EEA.

Estateguru cashback for new investors: 0.5% (1% in October) cashback on all investments in the first 3 months. To get it just register using this link: Estateguru registration and start lending

FlenderFlender

Flender* is an Irish marketplace for SME loans. Typical interest rates are around 10%.
US investors and US companies are eligible.

Flender cashback for new investors: 5% on all investments in the first 30 days after signup. Register using this link Flender registration and start lending

Mintos

Mintos* is a Latvian p2p lending market place. A wide range of loan types is offered. The fairly liquid ‘Invest&Access’ product currently promotes around 8% rate. Yields of 10+% are possible with manual and autoinvest.

US investors and US companies are welcome. A bank account in the EEA (European Economic Area is required) – see notes above.

Mintos cashback for new investors: 1% cashback on all investments in the first 90 days. To get it just register using this link: Mintos registration and start lending

 

The following companies replied to my query that they do not accept US investors: DoFinance*, Grupeer* (may change in future), Monethera*, Ratesetter*, Robocash*, Swaper*, Twino*, Wisefund*, Zopa*

The article was updated on Nov. 21st as Estateguru has meanwhile changed its position saying that Revolut or Transferwise are sufficient now to satisfy the requirements on a bank account in the European Union.

P2P lending bears high risks, including total loss of investment. This article is not investment advice.

October Stops Catering to German Retail Investors

Marketplace October* has just announced that due to regulatory requierements it won’t enable retail investors from Germany to invest into any new projects starting next week

In July 2019 we announced that we were going to launch October in Germany by the end of the year after the arrival of our local CEO, Thorsten Seeger. This is now coming fast with our first recruitments and operations in Munich.

For regulatory reasons we cannot open German projects to individuals. This is because the BaFin (German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority) requires the use of a fronting bank to allow retail investment in loans. We have studied this possibility, which has been chosen by other platforms, but the additional constraints and costs make this an unacceptable alternative under our business model.

German projects will only be funded by our institutional lenders (nor Spanish, Italian, French or Dutch retail lenders will be able to German projects). Additionally, lenders who are tax-resident in Germany will not be able to lend to any projects on the platform. Now that we operate locally, we have to apply local restrictions.

This means that you will not be able to lend on October as of next week. You will still be able to:

  • Receive repayments on your current projects,
  • Debit your October Account at any time.

We will provide you with your annual tax-summary (and this as long as you will be receiving repayments on your October Account).

We are really sorry to announce this news but have to comply with the German regulation. We have at heart to treat all our lenders, borrowers and partners equally wherever we operate. We will continue to work hard, with our peers in the European Crowdfunding Network, to allow German lenders on the platform in the future. How? We are confident that regulation, particularly at European level, will evolve to enable you to support the growth of European companies.

We are at your disposal should you have any questions.