Speculation is that the high customer acquisition costs (especially for borrowers) led to the need for another financing round. Estimates put the cost for borrower acquisition as high as 500 Euro. In certain customer acquisition partnerships, Smava pays the partner up to 1.3% of the loan amount (equals 650 Euro for a borrower with the maximum loan amount of 50,000 Euro). While Smava is growing, the growth rate has in the past months stopped to accelerate and is about 2 million Euro funded loan volume per month (chart).
The following video was produced by Elektrischer Reporter for German TV ZDF. The elaborate production is different from most other TV coverage I have seen, as it does not focus on one platform but rather tries to grasp the concept of p2p lending as a whole.
Furthermore it differs by the eye-catching make. But see for yourself:
Unfortunately it is available in German language only.
Smava: For several reasons. Poland is a fast growing economy with approx. 40 million residents. In Poland the span between deposit rate and base rate is very high – approx. 15 percent. Therefore the smava marketplace will be very attractive for polish customers right from the beginning. And regulation in Poland does not require a bank for the p2p lending model. This keeps transaction costs very low.
P2P-Banking.com: There are already 3 p2p lending services established in Poland. How doesÂ Smava plan to win market share as newcomer?
Smava: Compared to the active services smava is much more secure. Like in Germany it is a central product feature, that the risk for the lenders is transparently evaluated and can be factored into the calculation . To achieve this we cooperate with the polish credit rating agency (BIK).
P2P-Banking.com: How did you organize the operations? Does Smava have a branch or a subsidiary in Poland? Or do you operate from Berlin?
Smava: We have a subsidiary in Wroclaw, Poland, with a polish management team.
P2P-Banking.com: Where are the biggest challenges in international expansion: technical, legal/regulatory, marketing or recruiting team members?
Smava: On all fields, in the following order: legal/regulatory, recruiting and then marketing.
P2P-Banking.com: Which differences does the polish version of Smava have compared to the german Smava version?
Smava: Firstly we will start in Poland without the ‘Anleger-Pools’ (P2P-Banking: an insurance feature), because p2p loans are mostly short term there. Secondly all loan contracts will be directly between lenders and borrowersÂ – not like in Germany with the biw bank as intermediary.
P2P-Banking.com: What will be the maximum loan amount that can be borrowed at Smava Poland?
Smava: A polish borrower can use smava.pl for loans up to 100,000 Zloty. Each lender can invest up to a maximum of 200,000 Zloty. (P2P-Banking.com: 100,000 Zloty equal approx.Â 34,000 US$)
P2P-Banking.com: Which credit rating information will Smava.pl supply for the lenders?
Smava: Like in Germany smava will supply a credit score (BIK) as well as a debt/income ratio.
P2P-Banking.com: Which fee structure does Smava.pl have?
Smava: Lenders can invest fee-free, borrowers pay 1%Â of the loan amount. Continue reading →
Smava funded a loan volume of 535,000 Euro in September generating revenues (1percent origination fee) of 5,350 Euro plus an undisclosed amount (my estimate:<1,000 Euro) in commissions for insurance products.
The growth of the funded volumes per month can be seen in this chart.