CEO Anil Stocker has dropped a number of hints about opening up the MarketInvoice platform to retail investment.
Mr. Stocker joined alternative finance watchdog Mike Baliman on Episode 30 of the London Fintech Podcast last week. The crowning jewel in the half hour interview was confirmation from the MarketInvoice boss that he will likely open up the platform to retail investors next year. When outlining his plans for the future, Mr. Stocker said:
“The big innovation that we’re looking at, and you alluded to this at the beginning, is that we didn’t take retail money in the beginning. Why? Because we hadn’t tested the product, we didn’t know the risk profile, we wanted to get this track record under our belt and we didn’t just want to open it up to anyone. You can imagine the nightmare scenario of retail investors putting money into something, and not understanding the risks.”
“Now, we’ve really understood it. We’ve done a lot of transactions, we’re on version 4 of our risk model. We’ve learned very quickly because of the short duration nature of our product, if we see any problems after 50 days, we’re able to adjust our risk models. What that means is that we now have the confidence to hopefully next year open up a way for retail investors to start participating for as little as £1,000.”
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard talk of opening up the platform to retail investors. Mr. Stocker issued similar intimations at a recent gathering of P2P platform CEOs.
At present, MarketInvoice is about 55% funded by high net worth investors, with the remaining 45% accounted for by institutions, like Fiduciam, from which the platform recently secured a commitment of up to £200m per year. MarketInvoice also secured a £32m commitment from The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in late 2014. The platform boasts a cumulative funding figure of about £440m to date.
Accommodating retail investors within an already busy blend of capital may prove tricky. MarketInvoice is likely to lean heavily on a growing number of referrals and integrations partnerships (like the recent Sage tie-up), in order to keep pace with heightened investor demand.
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.