Berlin-based Rocket Internet has launched Lendico – a peer-to-peer lending platform specializing in loans of 1,000-25,000 euros.
Lendico will offer borrowers interest rates of 2.99% – roughly half the rate typically attached to consumer loans in Germany. Investors using the new platform can expect yields of up to 10.44%.
Rocket Internet is the world’s largest “internet incubator” – they specialize in replicating successful business ideas in order to build new online companies and launch them in different markets. They have launched over 100 market-leading companies since their creation in 1999.
The move to create Lendico is in keeping with Rocket Internet’s usual strategy of imitation – borrowing this time from the business models of LendingClub and Zopa. Lendico already has offshoots in Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
Auxmoney and Smava, Germany’s existing lending platforms, may struggle to compete with the new entrant. Rocket Internet announced in July of this year that it had secured $500 million in recent funding. Alexander Samwer, co-founder of Alando and Jamba!, will help to lead the new platform. Samwer’s backing is also thought to spell bad news for Lendico’s future competitors.