Fellow Finance Opens to Japanese Investors

By Guglielmo de Stefano on Monday 7 December 2015

Alternative Lending

Fellow Finance allows Japanese investors to lend to Finnish borrowers. 

Last October, Finnish peer-to-peer lending platform Fellow Finance opened its services to investors with a bank account for those within European Union (EU) or Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Just two months later the company has opened its platform to Japanese investors as well, forging a strategic partnership with the Japanese company Crowdcredit, Inc. 

According to the agreement, Crowdcredit will launch the investment funds, whose assets will be invested into the Finnish borrowers through the Fellow Finance platform. The partnership will benefit Finnish borrowers, as they might be able to get more advantageous loan contracts, and Japanese investors, since they will have an extra asset class to invest in. Japanese interest rates have been at incredibly low levels for much of the last two decades.

Crowcredit, Inc. is a marketplace-lending platform, which connects borrowers and lenders on a global basis. As at November 2015, the company has collected over JPY 200 million funds from the investors with much of that liquidity going to European and Latin American borrowers. 

Tomoyuki Sugiyama, CEO of CCI, commented:

“We are extremely proud to this strategic partnership with FF, as we shall be able to provide the access to another high potential asset class to Japanese individual investors. As FF has been the biggest marketplace lending platform in Finland and their average borrower is a 45-year old Finnish person with the median income of EUR 2,500 from their permanent employment, the asset class of Lending to Finnish borrowers shall attract Japanese individual investors from the viewpoint of its reliability and estimated financial returns.”

Founded in 2013, Fellow Finance is already the biggest marketplace-lending platform in Finland. It is owned by its founders and by an OMX Helsinki stock listed company called Taaleritehdas Plc. The platform uses internal and external data points and marks each accepted loan with a rating score from 1 to 5. This Funding Circle-like ratings model has proven popular amongst the platform’s investors looking to shape their portfolios according to their risk level. 

This partnership might be seen as a natural continuum to opening the Fellow Finance platform to European investors earlier this year. Jouni Hintikka, CEO of Fellow Finance, concluded:

“Through our partnership with CrowdCredit we are happy to be able to offer this investment opportunity now also to Japanese investors. Being a licensed and Japanese FSA supervised investment fund specializing in p2p-investing instruments CrowdCredit forms an excellent partner to be able to offer this asset class for Japanese investors”

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