15 - 04 - 2015 | |
We are pleased to announce the launch of Capital Match, a homegrown Singapore-based peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform that helps Singapore SMEs obtain loans for business financed by individual investors.
The objectives of the company are two-fold:
- provide business borrowers with the next best interest rates after banks, and
- give investors access to an attractive yield with a low investment entry amount.
Capital Match (CM) has an in-house credit function that carefully evaluates the circumstances and purpose of each borrower to determine an appropriate loan amount, tenure and interest rate.
This in turn allows CM to provide investors with a curated selection of loans to build their investment portfolio.
Helping SMEs with financing
According to figures released by Singapore SME consultancy Loyal Reliance, only about 13% of loan applications made by its SME clients in 2012 were approved.
“The SMEs we speak to tell us it is increasingly difficult for them to get loans from banks”, says Pawel Kuznicki, an ex-management consultant formerly from Rocket Internet, who co-founded the company with Kevin Lim, an ex-investment banker and Dr. Arnaud Bailly, a software engineer.
“P2P lending will provide a much needed source of alternative financing for our local SMEs. We chose to start our operations in Singapore because of the robust regulatory and legal framework, but we have ambitions to grow regionally”, states Kuznicki.
The P2P lending model is already very successful in the United Kingdom, the United States and China, but is still in its infancy in Southeast Asia. Last year alone, P2P lending platforms in the United States arranged almost US$ 9bn of loans. By contrast, lending in South-East Asian countries like the Philippines business loans are still driven by aggregator and comparison platforms offering bank financing.
Working with banks to fill gap
Local banks have also been focusing their efforts on innovative technologies to improve their offering.
“The banks do not see P2P lending platforms as competition, but rather filling a gap in the banking ecosystem”, says Lim, “we want to help SMEs build their credit history and eventually be able to go back to their bank for a loan.”
Yield and diversification for investors
On the lending side, CM targets investors who wish to add a fixed-income return to their portfolio and diversify away from asset classes such as equities and real estate. Loans on the platform can produce monthly returns of up to 2% with a short commitment of 3 - 12 months.
Each investor has an online account in which they can view available loan listings, make investments and monitor their loan book.
“Ease of use and security are our top priorities”, says Dr. Bailly, who is the chief architect of the online platform.
Open for business
The platform has already completed two loans totaling S$250,000 since its first listing in February 2015.
All Singapore registered businesses, regardless of industry, can apply to be a borrower. Typical loan sizes range from S$50,000 to S$200,000, tenure of 3 - 12 months and interest rate of 1.5% - 2.5% per month.
The minimum investment amount for an investor is S$1,000.
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