Interview with Laimonas Noreika, CEO of Finbee

Laimonas Noreika is the CEO of Finbee, a p2p lending service that launched last week and is open to international investors starting today.

What is Finbee about?

FinBee is about borrowing for less and earning more when investing. We also are most user friendly p2p lending platform in Lithuania.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

Firstly, our loans have high interest rate – from 10 to 40 percent. That means, that investor can expect higher return of investment, compared to other p2p lending platforms. Secondly, we have reliable software, that is developed by UK based Madiston. That means, that it is tested and extremely user friendly from day one. And finally, we pay great attention to selection of borrowers, so that the risk for investors is minimized as much as possible. On top of that, we invest 10 percent on total sum into each and every loan, so we share the risk with investors. In the near future we also will introduce compensation fund that in an unlikely case of borrower defaulting on its loan will compensate lenders their investment.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

I would say that first and foremost, we offer cheaper loans than most of the players in Lithuanian market, including banks, payday loan companies and credit unions. This is achieved by implementing auction principle when borrowing. That means, that borrower can set interest rate ceiling, for example 15 percent. Lenders then are able to offer lower interest rate, therefore making loan interest rate for the borrower as little as 12 or 13 percent. This is free market at its finest, when the market sets the real interest rate for the benefit of the borrower. Secondly, we are very consumer friendly. We talk, look like and do our business like majority of our clients. We know, what they want and we are doing our best to meet those expectations. Lastly, we have a fair commission policy. That means that if borrower has high credit rating, our commission is lower.

What ROI can investors expect?

Laimonas NoreikaIt‘s all up to investors. Loan interest rate will be between 10 and 40 percent, therefore investors can decide for themselves if they want lower risk and lower potential ROI or higher risk with possibility of higher potential ROI.

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

FinBee started little over a year ago, when I quit my position as a CMO in one Lithuanian company and started everything from scratch: examining the market, getting know-how, attracting investors and partners, picking up experienced team members. Big breakthrough moment was when Madiston became our partner and we got a technological edge against our local competitors

Is the technical platform self-developed?

No, software is provided by Madiston, whose Tim Simon is also member of FinBee board. Tim has an extensive experience of delivering successful applications to the Financial Technology marketplace as a founder and CEO of Quotient plc and Mondas plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange and AIM respectively. 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

Interview with Ieva Ozoliņa-Bērziņa, Executive Director of Twino

What is Twino about?

TWINO is a peer-to-peer lending platform that connects investors with some money they could lend and borrowers who need some money for making their dream come true — buying a new car, covering tuition or medical costs, for travel and leisure, renovating their house or starting a business etc. The money is lent without a pledge. This is a chance for borrower to get a loan with a lower interest rate than a bank or the various short-term loan providers would offer, while the investor can make direct investments without institutional intermediaries and receive a higher return on his investments.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

First and foremost, it is as chance to get significantly higher return on your investment than in a bank. Our financial solution allows omitting complicated financial operations that require high administrative expenses; therefore, it is possible to provide the service for a lower cost.

Secondly, so far, TWINO has been the only company in European market to offer opportunities to invest into consumer loans with buyout guarantee that completely minimise the risk of investor.

Finally, you do not need to meet face to face or sign heaps of documents to become a TWINO investor — you can save yourself the precious resource of time! You can live anywhere in the world and become a TWINO investor, you physical location does not matter. All the investor has to do is to e-mail a scanned ID document  to prove his identity.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

The Latvian households similarly to the ones elsewhere in Europe are victims of the frozen economy after the crisis. If they want to make a larger purchase but can not put money aside from their monthly income, they have two options. They can borrow the money in a bank, but very often banks are not willing to credit these people due to strict crediting terms or they can get a short-term loan with very high interest. This is why TWINO is almost the only way of borrowing money with reasonable interest.

The borrower can fulfil any of his needs with the money, including investing in his future — paying for tuition or essential assets or even starting a career in business or a investing in a start-up, thus supporting the local economy. It is very topical people living in the countryside regions and to those, who cannot access bank loans and cannot get a short –term loan with low interest.

Finally, borrowers should not be afraid that they will not be able to evaluate their borrowing capacity adequately — TWINO has an experienced team that evaluates every borrowing request separately according to the rules of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre and they follow the progress of giving back the borrowed money. If the TWINO team sees that the borrower has encountered unforeseen difficulties, we look for solutions together with the client. This means that you must not be afraid that you will not receive consultations and help just because this is a financial technology. The TWINO team members are ready to help you any time by providing consultations and looking for solutions together with you.

Ieva Ozolina BerzinaWhat ROI can investors expect?

Out investors earn roughly 10-20% per annum. Of course, this can fluctuate depending on their investment amount.

What is the background of the company running Twino?

Finabay is an innovative online finance company founded in Latvia almost 7 years ago. It is also providing short-term loans and has developed its services in Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Georgia and Denmark. This year it will launch its services in Spain

Is the technical platform self-developed?

Yes, the technical platform has been developed in Latvia by the experienced FinaBay IT Solutions Team.

What has been the greatest challenge so far in the course of launching Twino?

Currently the greatest challenge for TWINO is explaining what a peer-to-peer lending platform is to potential investors and borrowers. While this sector has been active in various European countries for almost 10 years now and it has lent 4.5 billion EUR to customers from 2012 to 2014, it is still a new service in Latvia and the Baltics. However we have to admit that this is not a burden, because peer-to-peer lending platforms are rooted in the economy of sharing, and through such peer-to-peer platforms it proves itself as a functioning model of economy — not only does it affect the well-being of individuals, it has a potential to stimulate the economy of regions and even countries. Continue reading

Interview with Peter Schierenbeck, CMO & co-founder of Lendify

What is Lendify about?

Lendify is the first and leading peer-to-peer lending platform focused on prime borrowers in the unsecured consumer credit space in Sweden. We have handled loan applications for over SEK 350 MM and more than 3,000 lenders and borrowers have signed up since launch in August 2014.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

  • High risk-adjusted returns.
  • Access to unsecured personal loans extended to prime borrowers in a very low-default rate market (Sweden) with many years of well documented historical data.
  • A new type of investments that further diversifies a mixed investment portfolio.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

  • Personalized interest rate.
  • Transparent (all interests and fees are clearly presented and available to all site visitors)
  • Simple and fast process for applying and monitoring (borrowers can log in and see status of payments etc.)

Peter Schierenbeck, LendifyWhat ROI can investors expect?

It is still early days for P2P lending in Sweden but we expect 7% on average.

Lendify received 2M EUR in funding recently. Who are the backers?

Fredrik Wallenberg, Hans Westin & Sten Schröder where the two latter have a great track record in the Swedish consumer lending space.

Is the technical platform self-developed?

Yes, everything is developed in-house.

What was the greatest challenge so far in the course launching Lendify?

Being the first in a market is great, but it also provides challenges out of a marketing and regulatory perspective. Not many people in Sweden are aware of the concept “peer-to-peer lending”, and we work hard to educate people of the concept. Continue reading

Interview with Patrick de Nonneville, COO of Lendix

What is Lendix about?

Lendix is an online marketplace for business loans, enabling investors to lend directly to prime small and medium sized enterprises. We started operating in France, making our first loans in April 2015. We’ve made 1.5M EUR of loans in our first month, and are on track for a similar number in May.We lend from 30,000 EUR to 1,000,000 EUR for 18 to 60 months with rates varying from 4% to 9%.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

We offer access to a largely untapped and high quality market, with low defaults and low prepayments. We have the same information as the banks via our Banque de France database membership. Last but not least, we charge no fees to lenders.

Patrick de NonnevilleWhat are the three main advantages for borrowers?

We’re fast, easy and transparent:

– we make offers in 7 business days and our docs are written in plain French

– we guarantee the funding of all the loans we put on the platform

– we require no personal guarantees from the company directors

What ROI can investors expect?

5.5% to 6%.

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

Lendix was founded by Olivier Goy in Q3 2014.

France was one of the first countries to lift the legal uncertainties around crowdlending and we saw an opportunity to plug the funding gap that micro and small businesses suffer from. There is a vast amount of capital available to lend, but small businesses find that dealing with banks has become so painful and distracting that they effectively don’t even start the process. Our aim is to surprise borrowers with how painless it is to get a loan.

The company’s shareholders (apart from its leadership) includes a VC, Partech Ventures. Olivier has a long standing relationship with Partech, having worked there himself, and having had Partech has one of the shareholders of the Private Equity company he founded in 2001.

We also have a bank, an asset manager, a family office and a large corporate amongst our backers.

An important point is that Olivier, myself and the other main shareholders of Lendix have skin in the game: we have committed money to our institutional vehicle and lend to every company that comes on the platform, under the same conditions as all the other lenders. Continue reading

Fundedbyme Launches P2P Loans To Swedish SMEs today

fundedbyme-logoSwedish p2p equity platform Fundedbyme expands the product portfolio offered to p2p lending today. Typically loans are between 25 and 25,000 EUR. They pay yearly interest, a percentage of the profit and a possible exit bonus. Anyone can lend money to a p2p lending campaign on Fundedbyme. The minimum bid size is 50 EUR per loan. Daniel Dabocy, CEO of Fundedbyme on the reasoning of entering p2p lending: ‘The idea behind our business is to link investors with entrepreneurs in the most efficient way. That is why we talk with both parties very much. When we started to get regular feedback that they would be interested in something between equity-based and reward-based crowdfunding we thought about p2p business lending. And it turned out this is what they need. Now we are launching the product and I am pretty sure results will confirm that we took the right decision.’ (Source).

Fundedbyme says they have (for their equity offer) signed up 47,000 investors, so they are confident they will fund the new loan offers.

I just checked. Right now there are 4 loan-based offers open for funding on the site.

Fundedbyme loan offers

Every company needs to have a turnover of at least 15,000 EUR in early turnover, and have been registered for at least 1.5 years. In addition to this, the information from credit bureaus UC and Bisnode both have to give the company a favourable risk rating. Loans over 40,000 EUR have a personal guarantee. Continue reading