Finbee Adds Business Loans

finbee logoP2P lending marketplace Finbee has so far offered consumer loans only. Now Finbee is extending the product range to SME loans. Finbee sources the applying companies through a separate website and will focus on small loans up to 15K EUR and a term of 12 months. For most business loans rates will be fixed without an auction (which Finbee uses to set interest rates for consumer loans). Different to consumer loans, investments into business loans will not be covered by the Finbee compensation fund (CSF), if the loan defaults. Each loan application will be individually assessed, by assigning risk grade from A+ to D, where A+ is a low risk loan, D – high risk loan, based on reputation of the management (20% of risk grade), financial sustainability (60% of risk grade), market situation (20% of risk grade).

Audrius Griskevicius, head of SME lending, told P2P-Banking: ‘SMEs in Lithuania have very limited access to financing. As result of this, the government issued a law, allowing p2p lenders to issue loans for small business. Finbee took an active role in development of necessary regulation and we are very proud to be the first one to receive a license of p2p lending to SMEs.’

The first business loan listing is online. Magava wants to borrow 10K EUR working capital for 12 months at 15% interest rate. Investors have to complete a self assessment survey before they can invest into business loans.

Victory Park Capital will invest 420M in P2P Lending Loans on Funding Circle USA

fundingcircle-logo-2012US asset manager Victory Park Capital will invest 420 million US$ over the course of the next 3 years in p2p loans to SMEs in the US via p2p lending marketplace Funding Circle USA. This agreement follows an earlier deal where Victory Park Capital agreed to lend 150 million GBP via Assetz Capital over the next five years.

With a single institutional investor planning to fund these volumes, these are staggering numbers.

 

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

Interview with Asger Trier Bing, CEO of Lendino

Interview with Asger Trier Bing, CEO of Danish service Lendino.

What is Lendino about?

  • Lendino is a marketplace lender for loans to SMEs in Scandinavia ranging from 20K-2M USD.

What are the three main advantages for investors?

  • Investors get a higher return than from similar asset classes.
  • Investors are enabled to invest in companies that appeal to them (CSR).
  • Investors can invest in their own local area or in a company of a friend.

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

  • Borrowers get a lower interest on their loan, which will benefit them through decreased funding costs
  • It is faster and easier to apply for funding at Lendino than at a bank.
  • Borrowers can build a stronger relationship with customers who invest in their loans

What ROI can investors expect?

  • Investors should expect a net return of 5-8 percent

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

  • Lendino was launched in 2013 by Andreas Christensen and Asger Trier.
  • The vision is to improve finance.
  • The company has been funded by the founders until today.
  • A VC round is ongoing and is expected to close within 30 days.
  • It has a  mix of Danish and UK investors onboard. Continue reading

P2P Lending Service Investly Launched Today

P2P lending service Investly launched today offering business loans to companies financed by both private and institutional investors. All investment opportunities offered have undergone a thorough pre-screening process including business plan validation, financial analysis as well as credit evaluation.

Once the requested loan amount is filled Investly uses an reverse auction with investors underbidding each other and lowering the interest rate for the business until the auction ends.

The first investment opportunity Investly has live is the chance to lend to Sepapaja OÜ, a blacksmith who is planning to use the investment to scale up up their business by purchasing a larger pneumatic hammer, lathe and various other tools. According to Stig Paju, the manager of Sepapaja OÜ, they decided to use the service because: ‘by using Investly we are able to enhance our production, widen our product portfolio and serve more clients. As a positive by-product, our investors will help us to spread the word and gain even more customers.’. The interest rate offered is 15% p.a., but may sink if investor demand is higher than the loan amount. The loan is rated credit grade A by Investly.

Investly is open to international investors from the European Union and Switzerland. I was able to test-drive the platform during the just ended closed alpha. Transfering money in via a SEPA transfer and bidding was fast and easy.

To accelerate the development of the service, Investly will be participating in the BusinessTech accelerator run by Startup Wise Guys – a technology accelerator with a global reach based in Tallinn, Estonia. Investly was chosen from among 150 applicants to part-take in the program alongside 10 other teams from all over the world. Over the next 3 months, they will go through an intensive mentoring, service development and marketing process; ending with investor days both in Tallinn, Estonia and London.

Siim Maivel, CEO of Investly told P2P-Banking.com:  ‘Building on the launch in Estonia, we have ambitious expansion plans with preparations under way to enter new markets, with the UK to follow later in the year.’.

A Visit With Assetz Capital

On Wednesday I flew to Manchester on invitation of p2p lending service Assetz Capital and met with Managing Director Andrew Holgate and his team. I learned how they operate and we spent the day discussing various aspects of p2p lending.

Assetz Capital does p2p lending to businesses secured by assets – mostly property. While the loans are big (usually the minimum loan size is 100,000 GBP), investors can lend starting with amounts of just 20 GBP. But typical investments are higher. In fact their first loan, which was for the amount of 1.5M GBP was funded by just 150 investors. Andrew Holgate pointed out that since each loan is backed by a security there is not as much need for investors to diversify to spread risk as with other p2p lending platforms.

Assetz Capital went live in April 2012. The founders and the management have extensive experience in finance, especially SME funding. One of the founders, Stuart Law, is the CEO of Assetz Group which has a 15 years track record in property investments. Assetz Capital could utilise the huge existing database of over 65,000 customers of Assetz Group when it started marketing its loan offers to investors.

Initially the main task at hand was to build trust. Trust not only on the investor side, but also from brokers, the main source of loan requests. Brokers wanted to be able to rely on the referred, approved loan requested getting funded within reasonable time (e.g. 2 weeks). While this was challenging in the beginning, Holgate says Assetz Capital has no problem now of getting multiple large loans funded simultaneously. Some of the loans fill as fast as 4 to 5 hours.  To get there Assetz Capital integrated underwriters into the process.

After Assetz Capital has thoroughly vetted the applying business and the underlying security – in fact every business is visited in person by an employee of Assetz Capital, it is presented to large investors which will then check the offer themselves and underwrite it – effectively saying they are prepared to finance large chunks of the offer.

Once the loan is on the marketplace, investors bid on it. Investors do see all documentation available on the loan and Assetz Capital says investor scrutiny and feedback is very valuable. Each loan request has a Q&A section where investors can comment.  Between funding and drawdown it usually takes a few weeks, depending on circumstances. In this time all documentation required is completed (e.g. first or second charges).

Assetz Capital is 100% owned by the management. Even so the business is very young it already turned profitable.

Broader product range

Assetz Capital started p2p lending with loans backed by real estate. Gradually they are now moving in financing a broader range of loan purposes, but always backed by asset securities. Assetz Capital wants to become the single access point for SME finance needs, as banks are no longer fulfilling that role. A surprising point in the talks for me was, when Holgate said, that actually their interest rates are higher than those charged by the banks, which is possible since many SMEs don’t get the funding they need from the banks any more.

On the investor side Assetz Capital will take steps to reduce the average time-span between funding and drawdown for investors. The company also considers in the medium term to grade loans into risks classes. At the moment different risks perceived by the risk manager at Assetz Capital are priced into the interest rates of the loans. So far Assetz Capital has refrained from assigning risk grades as it might be seen as giving investment advice to investors, which Assetz Capital does not do. Assetz Capital might also make it easier for investors to automatically invest into loans of a given risk/interest range. So far this was not necessary as the majority of investors enjoyed the process of the individual selection of loans. Continue reading

Interview with Martijn van Schelven, Founder and CEO of Geldvoorelkaar

Interview with Geldvoorelkaar founder Martijn van Schelven.

What is Geldvoorelkaar about?

Geldvoorelkaar.nl is about crowdfunding. We provide funds through our website for both SME as well as consumer lending. We provide loan-based funds. Borrowers borrow money and pay the investors back on annuity basis. Loans are on average 75.000 EUR. At this moment we mediate in approximately 2,500,.000 EUR each month. We facilitate screening on published projects, contracts and payment schedules between borrowers and lenders. Our start up was December 2010 and up till now we have approximately arranged credit for 500 companies. The total amount funded up till now is  31.5 milion EUR of which approximately  17.5 million EUR was funded in 2013.

What are the three main advantages for lenders?

  1. Direct ROI through annuity / interest
  2. Transparency on published projects, accessible and easy way of funding
  3. Extra incentives on most projects

What are the three main advantages for borrowers?

  1. Easy understandable debt against low costs
  2. Extreme commercial spin off, in addition to the funding
  3. Investors are not shareholders, but do act as such. Funded entrepreneurs keep their own independency

Martijn van Schelven

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

Me and my companion Edwin Adams were both one of the first franchisees for ING Bank Netherlands. A successful franchise concept which sadly was ended due to reorganisation within the bank. Our own bankshops were bought back by the bank. This money was invested in the development of Geldvoorelkaar. We are 100% independent.

Is the technical platform self-developed?

The platform was developed based on our own ideas. Centric (http://www.centric.eu/EU/Default) , a software engineer, developed the technical side of our platform and our backoffice. Continue reading

Rocket Internet Launches Second P2P Lending Service: Zencap

Rocket Internet, the venture fund of the Samwer brothers, launches a second p2p lending service (after Lendico in December). Zencap will facilitate loans from 10,000 to 150,000 Euro to companies. To qualifiy the company has to be trading for at least two years, have solid financials and total revenue of more than a 100,000 Euro. Nominal interest rates range from 4 to 14.6%. Zencap charges borrowers 1 to 4.5% origination fees (dependant on loan term; possible are 6 to 60 months). Lenders can start lending with 100 Euro and are charged 1% or all repayments. Zencap expects default rates between 0% and 10% depending on credit grade.

Christian Grobe, founder and CEO of Zencap says (translation from German original): “About 99% of all companies in Germany are SMEs, who together generate yearly revenues of over 2000 billion Euro. SMEs are the backbone of the German economy. Getting loans is a long and bureaucratice process for these companies, often ending in frustration, since 20% of all loan negotiations with German banks fail (source: KfW-Mittelstandspanel). We want to remove these hurdles with Zencap and offer SMEs an easy and unbureaucratic altenative to banks.”


Zencap founders Dr. Christian Grobe und Dr. Matthias Knecht, both previously worked at McKinsey & Company (photo source: Zencap)