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

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 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.