Last week saw the rise of a new Estonian peer-to-peer platform – one which will focus on lending to small businesses.
Investly launched its new SME facing platform last Thursday. On the borrower side, the platform features a stringent set of vetting processes, as well as a reverse auction feature – designed to drive down borrower interest rates. The platform will also be featuring an online invoice finance element – allowing businesses to rely upon Investly for a range of financial requirements. The platform is targeting both retail and institutional investors. Those investors can hail from anywhere within the European Union and Switzerland.
Investly hopes to set itself apart through its EU digital signature tool which should increase both security and ease of use. The tool allows for 100% secure signing and identification, which is available due to the e-infrastructure of various innovative EU governments. The system should lower the possibility of forgery.
Investly is participating in the BusinessTech accelerator run by Startup Wise Guys. This Tallinn-based technology accelerator selected Investly as 1 of 10 businesses (out of 150 applicants) to partake in the program. The mentorship and worldwide reach of this scheme will doubtless prove invaluable to the fledgling peer-to-business lender.
“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.”
It’s hardly surprising that Investly is looking to branch out abroad early. Fellow Estonian platform Bondora – one of continental Europe’s leading consumer lenders – accepts both lenders and borrowers from a wide range of European countries. This expansion may well be due to the fact that Estonia is home to a population of below 1.4 million people. Investly has built its entire system within a highly scalable framework, with pan-market functionalities factored into the business and technology from the outset. The platform may well be unique in its efforts to enter the peer-to-peer space as a cross border operator.
What’s particularly interesting to note is that Lendico (Germany-based) and Trustbuddy (Swedish) also elected to branch out overseas at a very early stage. Germany in particular should have no shortage of willing borrowers and lenders – with a population size of over 80 million. We believe the primary issue for new players like Investly is not the size of its country of origin’s respective population, but rather the willingness of that population to engage in peer-to-peer lending. The platforms are often drawn to the UK because, as Ryan Weeks recently explained, the conditions over here are far more supportive of financial innovation.
Siim Maivel explains the Investly proposition in detail below.