Best Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform 2018

We are delighted to announce that Minterest is awarded the Best Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform 2018 – Singapore by the Global Business Insights Awards 2018.

The Global Business Insight Awards celebrate business leadership, innovation in finance and investment and sector success across all seven continents of the world.

 

Making Connections: SME Interview Series – Minterest

Founded in 2016 by three experienced finance professionals, we, Minterest, seek to empower small businesses by connecting them with individual investors through marketplace lending platform. Till date, we have raised more than S$32 million in small business loans. To find out more about our success and future plans, ValueChampion interviewed our Co-Founder and CEO Charis Liau.

When did Minterest begin its operations?

Minterest was incorporated in March 2016 and commenced operations in May 2017 after securing its Capital Markets Services (CMS) Licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in January 2017. Since May 2017, Minterest has assisted businesses in Singapore that were underserved by the conventional financial institutions by disbursing more than S$32 million in loans over almost 90 different transactions.

When and how did Minterest first obtain funding? How long did it take to raise funding?

Minterest was initially funded by the founders and prior to commencing operations, we secured seed funding from friends and family. This took place over a week which was relatively quick.

What was the biggest challenge that Minterest had to overcome to raise capital? What strategy, tactic or know-how was the most helpful in convincing investors to invest in the company?

The biggest challenge at that time was that we just had a concept with no operating history to prove that the business can be successful. But once we shared our vision, mission and how we plan to execute them, the investors were convinced. The fact that the founders and senior management team have significant banking and financial experience (125 years in total) provided another layer of comfort to the investors that we know what we were talking about.

After its initial funding, did Minterest ever require additional financing? Why?

We have not had to raise additional funding so far but the time has come for us to do so. As we move into the second half of our second year in operations, additional resources would be required for further technology build-out, marketing and other operational matters as we seek to scale our business and expand to the region. We now have a viable business model and having proven the business concept, it is now time to move into the next stage of our business evolution.

What type of financing did Minterest obtain? Which sources did Minterest consider? How was this helpful for your business?

Minterest has only raised equity so far and will be looking to do the same in our next round of financing. For the new round of financing, we will be looking at VCs and a couple of investors who have supported us during our growing period over the last 18 months. The equity that was raised was important for the business as it provided financing for operations as well as the necessary capital base that is required by the MAS.

How does Minterest help businesses better manage their finances?

We bring the big corporate fundraising experience to small businesses given our deep and broad banking and financial experience. Our borrowers’ journey includes a reasonably in-depth analysis of future cash flows. Not only does this exercise assist in our credit assessment of the borrower’s ability to repay the loan, it also helps the borrower’s management to better understand how their expected cash position would be like in the future. Some of our borrowers have continued to use this tool to measure how well their forecasting is when matched against actual numbers.

How does Minterest distinguish itself from Singapore’s other crowdfunding platforms?

Minterest distinguishes itself from others through the following “3P”s:

  • People

Former bankers with a combined 155 years’ of experience who understand credit, structuring and security mechanisms. Platform investors invest with the knowledge that every deal is properly assessed and put through our proprietary Mintgrade credit scoring algorithm.

  • Products

A wide range of products across all risk spectrum to feed the appetite of platform investors, allowing them to diversify their portfolio. Products are divided into four broad categories – Small Loans, Invoice Financing, Structured Loans and Convertible Loans. The diversity of products generally leads to stickiness amongst the platform investors.

  • Processes

A set of transparent and clear processes to analyse and assess loan applications. The automated workflow that was developed in-house allows the team to quickly assess and process deals – this applies to all product categories. We have also developed a credit scoring engine that assign a rating to every loan application. The rating system is much appreciated by our investors as it provides a quick snapshot of the risk profile of the loans that are listed on the platform.

What advice would you offer to other startups in Singapore who are looking for ways to finance their businesses and operations?

It is important that start-ups have a clear vision and mission and how they are going to execute on them. Without identifiable cash flow sources, it will be very difficult for such companies to raise financing especially in the debt space. There could be a possibility to raise equity financing but investors need to be convinced that the people and business model are right and can be differentiated against competitors.

Did Minterest consider any other locations besides Singapore as its headquarters? Why/why not?

Singapore as Minterest’s headquarters is a natural choice. The founders are based in Singapore and it is also a major financial centre and fintech hub in the region. The regulatory regime is forward looking and is conducive for a business like ours to grow and flourish. With high regulatory standards ensuring our processes are of the highest standards, we will then bring these standards to other countries as we seek to provide our services to the unserved and underserved businesses in the region.

What makes Minterest’s work most challenging? Rewarding?

The most challenging aspect is in the deal selection process. We see hundreds of loan applications each month and whilst many have interesting ideas and products, it is important not to lose sight of the most important criteria for loan approvals – cashflows. We have developed our proprietary screening model taking into account over 200 data points to assess each deal. Structuring of repayment sources is critical in our opinion as we need to ensure that the loans can be repaid on time to our investors.

The most rewarding part is when we disburse a loan to a small business knowing that the proceeds will be used to turbo-charge the borrowers’ business, allowing them to continue to provide employment to the Singapore workforce and contribute positively to the country’s economy.

 

This article was contributed by ValueChampion.

Minterest: 30 Best Small Companies To Watch 2018

Established in March 2016 and led by Charis Liau and Ronnie Chia, Minterest is a leading online marketplace funding platform connecting investors with borrowers, and is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. As former bankers with deep experience in corporate and structured finance, Minterest was started with a bold ambition to build a new financial eco-system in Singapore.

The company started its journey by assisting a small business making waves in the coffee scene in Singapore. The business needed some financing assistance to expand into other countries in the region and Minterest stepped forward for the fundraising. Being the first deal on the platform, it was unclear how the fund raise would perform but when the campaign got underway, there was a lot of interest from its investors. The offering was snapped up in no time and the team at Minterest drew strength and encouragement from that experience to work even harder to deliver on its mission and vision.

Today, Minterest’s loans are snapped up so quickly in Singapore that 97% of the company’s loans are fully participate within a day; in fact, many were fully completed in less than 60 seconds. “We see a very strong demand and supply of liquidity in Singapore to participate in private business loans,” says Charis Liau, CEO of Minterest Private Limited.

In-Conversation with the Leaders of Minterest, Ms. Charis Liau, and Mr. Ronnie Chia:

Q. There is nothing more important for a successful small business than a well-defined mission and vision statements. Can you explain your M&V statements in brief?

At Minterest, we believe in bringing financial inclusion to the unbanked and underserved needs of businesses. Businesses have constantly been constrained by various requirements of conventional finance providers and as experienced former bankers, we believe we can turbocharge their businesses to bring their future to the present. We also believe in enabling investors with financial knowledge and access to quality investments, offering them a path to financial empowerment.

As a leading marketplace funding platform, Minterest uses a broad spectrum of innovative technologies and our team’s financial expertise to overcome existing real-world financial shortcomings.

Q. A small business/company may or may not function as expected. It takes everything to stand out and compete in the business world. Was it the same for Minterest?

Being a new start-up, it is not easy, especially when it comes to the area where you are dealing with people’s money. Financial Services is a trust-based industry and to acquire investors, we needed to work hard to demonstrate that the offerings we list on our platform are well-structured and risk-mitigated.

Having a team of experienced former bankers with a combined 155 years of banking and financial experience, we developed our own proprietary credit scoring algorithm drawing on over 200 data points of each borrower. Investors now look at the rating of each loan that is listed and would immediately be able to have a quick overview of the underlying risk profile of the particular loan offering. Borrowers, on the other hand, initially had no idea that we exist. However, through education, creating greater awareness and working with the various government regulatory bodies, we are engaging borrowers who are now viewing us as a true, faster and more viable alternate source of financing for their businesses.

Q. Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?

Talking about the culture of feedback, we are constantly looking to improve our ways of doing business and how we can be more efficient and effective. We have an open channel with our investors through the use of the Telegram app. This allows us to be close to our investing community and know their requirements and pain points. This communication channel has allowed us to adapt our business practices to better improve the user experience.

Q. Any company, big or small, must have the sense of authenticity and originality to succeed. Is your company a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’?

We see ourselves as a leader given our deep financial expertise in the lending space. Our secret sauce is in fact the workflow that we have developed in-house. This relates to how we process loan applications in the most efficient and effective manner – 80% of the loan assessment process is automated – allowing us to achieve scale. In addition, we were the first marketplace funding platform in Singapore to procure an insurance wrap on a loan to mitigate the non-payment of the loan by the borrower. Such insurance facilities are typically reserved only for the banks.

At Minterest, we firmly believe in staying true to our values, creating a strong financial eco-system thereby enhancing the value for our borrowers, investors and stakeholders.

Crafting the Future Roadmap

ASEAN is the world’s 3rd largest market after China and India with a population of over 640 million. With the massive emergence of the middle class, the rise of consumerism and digitally active population, the internet economy is expected to grow to USD200 billion by 2025, with more than 480 million internet users by 2020. However, 73% (438 million) of the ASEAN population are unbanked. Therefore, a huge market opportunity exists for platform lenders to serve the needs of the unbanked population and Minterest believes that it can and will play a key part in this movement to address their needs.

Minterest aims to bring its mission and vision to the South East Asian region, empowering both investors and borrower who are underserved and unserved by the traditional financial institutions. Looking into the future, in a couple of years from now, the company is expected to be operating in a few other countries – Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines,and Vietnam.

Making A Difference

Charis Liau, CEO and Co-Founder: Charis has more than 16 years of banking and financial experience in Asian markets. During her banking career, she specialized in structured finance, asset finance solutions, and corporate lending and relationship management for corporates in Asia.

Charis holds a Fintech Certificate in Future Commerce from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy (First Class Honours) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder from the CFA Institute.

Ronnie Chia, COO and Co-Founder: With 26 years of corporate and structured finance experience, Ronnie is a finance and banking veteran having worked in merchant banking, corporate and structured finance. He started and led numerous business units at an international bank.

Ronnie graduated from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree majoring in Accountancy and Business Administration.

“Our aim is to empower businesses and investors to enable them to reach their financial goals.”

 

This article was contributed by The Silicon Review.

Minterest included in full lists of Finalists for the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards

Benzinga, the leading digital financial media publication and data provider, announced today that over 200 finalists will be competing in nearly 30 categories at the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards. Minterest is 1 of the 9 finalists for the Best Lending Platform.

The BZ Awards competition recognizes the most innovative companies in every fintech vertical. Finalists and winners are determined by a panel of judges made up of industry experts from firms like Google, D.E. Shaw, CNBC, Fidelity, DRW, J.P. Morgan and more. Winners of the BZ Awards competition will be announced at the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards Gala on May 15, and the overall first, second and third place winners will speak on a “Winner’s Circle Town Hall” panel the morning of May 16.

 

The full list of finalists includes:

Best Alternative Investments Platform CAIS Group
Best Alternative Investments Platform EquityZen
Best Alternative Investments Platform Fundbase
Best Alternative Investments Platform Fundrise
Best Alternative Investments Platform Groundfloor
Best Alternative Investments Platform Livestock Wealth
Best Alternative Investments Platform Mercury Capital Advisors – iFunds
Best Alternative Investments Platform PeerStreet
Best Alternative Investments Platform Rally Rd.
Best Alternative Investments Platform RealtyMogul
Best Alternative Investments Platform Republic
Best Alternative Investments Platform Swaper
Best Alternative Investments Platform YieldStreet
Best Analysis or Research Platform Albridge
Best Analysis or Research Platform Cashforce
Best Analysis or Research Platform Elsen, Inc.
Best Analysis or Research Platform finbox.io
Best Analysis or Research Platform Omega Point
Best Analysis or Research Platform RiskVal Financial Solutions, L
Best Analysis or Research Platform SharingAlpha
Best Analysis or Research Platform StatPro
Best Analysis or Research Platform StockViews
Best Analysis or Research Platform Street Diligence
Best Analysis or Research Platform TradingView
Best Analysis or Research Platform YCHARTS
Best Analysis or Research Platform Vistalytics
Best Analysis or Research Platform SavaNet
Best B2B Commerce Platform DebtBench Fintech
Best B2B Commerce Platform MeaWallet
Best Biometrics Tool or Cyber Security Platform BIOWATCH SA
Best Biometrics Tool or Cyber Security Platform Crypta Labs LTD.
Best Biometrics Tool or Cyber Security Platform Emailage
Best Biometrics Tool or Cyber Security Platform ProxToMe
Best Biometrics Tool or Cyber Security Platform Yoti
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign Asset-Map
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign CUneXus Solutions
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign Finworx360
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign LiveOak Technologies
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign SwipeSum, Inc.
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign Totum Risk, LLC
Best Customer Engagement Tool or Campaign YayPay
Best Digital Bank Chime
Best Digital Bank Lively
Best Digital Bank Oxygen
Best Digital Bank TNG FinTech Group
Best Digital Mortgage Solution Better Mortgage
Best Digital Mortgage Solution Neat Capital
Best Digital Mortgage Solution Cloudvirga
Best Digital Mortgage Solution LoanFuel
Best Digital Mortgage Solution Lenda
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Ask a Lender
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Echofin LLC
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform FinTank
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Fluo
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Gimi AB
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Honeyfi
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Invest Diva
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform IonTuition
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Kapitall
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Online Trading Academy
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Questis, Inc.
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Rubicoin
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform SmartAsset
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Tuition.io
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Uniko
Best Educational or Personal Finance Platform Warrior Trading
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform AdvisorBid
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Brinker Capital – RIA Services
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform BrokerHunter
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Envestnet
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform InvestCloud Navy
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform ITECHFLOCK SOFTWARE PRIVATE LIMITED
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform laserfiche
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Minna Technologies
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform MyVest
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform OpenInvest
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Orion Advisor
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform RBC Correspondent & Advisor Services
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Redtail Speak
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Riskalyze
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Sharesight
Best Financial Advisor or Wealth Management Platform Vestwell
Best Forex Platform Fortex, Inc.
Best Forex Platform FXStreet
Best Forex Platform MarketFactory
Best Forex Platform Mount Wish
Best Forex Platform Send Money Home
Best Forex Platform Tradagon
Best InsurTech Solution Aclaimant
Best InsurTech Solution allai
Best InsurTech Solution Coverhero
Best InsurTech Solution Exdion Solutions
Best InsurTech Solution Hellas Direct
Best InsurTech Solution Insurify
Best InsurTech Solution Life.io
Best InsurTech Solution Lumity, Inc.
Best InsurTech Solution Matic
Best InsurTech Solution Protecht Inc, dba TicketGuardian
Best InsurTech Solution Snapsheet
Best InsurTech Solution Sureify
Best Lending Platform 4G Capital
Best Lending Platform ACORN OakNorth
Best Lending Platform Credibility Capital Inc.
Best Lending Platform Credibly
Best Lending Platform Creditor.ai
Best Lending Platform ftcash
Best Lending Platform Kasasa
Best Lending Platform Lendio
Best Lending Platform Minterest Private Limited
Best Procurement or Supply Chain Solution 14bis Supply Tracking
Best Procurement or Supply Chain Solution Accrualify, Inc.
Best Procurement or Supply Chain Solution Candex, Inc.
Best Procurement or Supply Chain Solution Yapta
Best Proprietary Platform or API Accern
Best Proprietary Platform or API AlphaPoint
Best Proprietary Platform or API Apex Clearing
Best Proprietary Platform or API Difitek
Best Proprietary Platform or API Everysk Technologies
Best Proprietary Platform or API Finicity
Best Proprietary Platform or API FinLink, Inc. d/b/a Mbanq
Best Proprietary Platform or API FinMason
Best Proprietary Platform or API Instantor
Best Proprietary Platform or API ipushpull
Best Proprietary Platform or API Modo
Best Proprietary Platform or API Redtail Technology
Best Proprietary Platform or API RUBIQUE
Best Proprietary Platform or API SDK.finance
Best Proprietary Platform or API Singular Banking
Best Proprietary Platform or API TransFICC
Best Proprietary Platform or APIs VSoft Corporation; platform: Arya
Best Real Estate Platform CrowdStreet
Best Real Estate Platform Income&
Best Real Estate Platform RealtyShares
Best Real Estate Platform Roofstock
Best RegTech Solution 8OF9
Best RegTech Solution AQ Metrics
Best RegTech Solution BigID
Best RegTech Solution Checkbox
Best RegTech Solution ClauseMatch
Best RegTech Solution ComplySci
Best RegTech Solution iComply Investor Services Inc.
Best RegTech Solution Jumio
Best RegTech Solution Neuroprofiler
Best RegTech Solution Onfido
Best RegTech Solution PerformLine
Best RegTech Solution Sum&Substance
Best RegTech Solution Thesys Technologies
Best RegTech Solution Thisisme
Best RegTech Solution Trulioo
Best RegTech Solution Trunomi
Best RegTech Solution Vena Solutions
Best Robo-advisor Bambu
Best Robo-advisor Betterment
Best Robo-advisor Gravity Investments
Best Robo-advisor LendingRobot
Best Robo-advisor Magnetis
Best Robo-advisor Moneyfarm
Best Robo-advisor Munnypot
Best Robo-advisor Polaris Portfolios
Best Robo-advisor Wealthfront
Best Robo-advisor WiseBanyan
Best Trading Execution Platform or Brokerage Capital.Com
Best Trading Execution Platform or Brokerage Clearpool Group
Best Trading Execution Platform or Brokerage Entrex
Best Trading Execution Platform or Brokerage Envision Financial Systems
Best Trading Execution Platform or Brokerage Jellifin
Best Trading Execution Platform or Brokerage Trumid Financial
Best Trading Idea Platform Capital Market Laboratories
Best Trading Idea Platform Fortuitapps Limited UK
Best Trading Idea Platform StockHoot LLC
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Airfox
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Braviant Holdings
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution CreditStacks
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Elevate Credit
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Experian MicroAnalytics
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Finn.ai
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Humaniq
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution ID Finance
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution LenddoEFL
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution MoneyLion
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Oakam
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Self Lender, Inc.
Best Under-banked or Emerging Market Solution Teller
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning AppZen
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning bkper
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Bondit
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning City Falcon Limited
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Clerk.ai
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Clutch.AI
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Endor Software Ltd
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning JD Finance
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Neotic
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Quantxt Inc
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning SmartBiz Loans
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Social Market Analytics
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning Trade Ideas
Best Use of AI or Machine Learning VantagePoint Software
Best Use of Blockchain BIGcontrols
Best Use of Blockchain Bitfury
Best Use of Blockchain BlockEx Ltd
Best Use of Blockchain BTL Group Ltd.
Best Use of Blockchain Hive Project
Best Use of Blockchain Omega Grid
Best Use of Blockchain Taqanu
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Croudify
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Crux Informatics
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Dataminr
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Essentia Analytics
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data ExtractAlpha
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data M Science
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Quandl
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data RavenPack
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Sequentum
Finding Alpha Through Alternative Data Stocksnips Inc
Institutional Innovators AutoGravity Corporation
Institutional Innovators Laurel Road
Institutional Innovators OpenFin
Institutional Innovators Pri-Num Ltd.
Institutional Innovators USAA
Institutional Innovators West Loop Ventures
Institutional Innovators Zenmonics
Investing in Millennials Aspiration
Investing in Millennials CNote
Investing in Millennials Looma
Investing in Millennials SprinkleBit
Investing in Millennials Stash Invest
Investing in Millennials Tripcents, Inc.
Leveling the Playing Field AtomInvest
Leveling the Playing Field DIY.FUND
Leveling the Playing Field ETNA
Leveling the Playing Field gradement
Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the Playing Field

Halo Investing

HedgeSPA

Leveling the Playing Field KloudTrader
Leveling the Playing Field Quantiacs
Leveling the Playing Field Seedrs
Leveling the Playing Field Stockpile
Leveling the Playing Field StockTwits, Inc.
Leveling the Playing Field Swell Investing
Leveling the Playing Field UpperRoom Technology
Solving Problems Through Payments AfterBanks
Solving Problems Through Payments Apruve
Solving Problems Through Payments Contract Simply
Solving Problems Through Payments dLocal
Solving Problems Through Payments fispan
Solving Problems Through Payments Goldmoney
Solving Problems Through Payments Green Dot
Solving Problems Through Payments Karmic Labs, Inc.
Solving Problems Through Payments One, Inc.
Solving Problems Through Payments Paykii
Solving Problems Through Payments TransferMate Global Payments
Solving Problems Through Payments Volante Technologies
Solving Problems Through Payments WorldFirst
Solving Problems Through Payments WorldRemit
Solving Problems Through Payments Zeek

 

This article was contributed by Benzinga

P2P Lending Platforms 2018: Funding Societies vs MoolahSense vs Capital Match vs CoAssets vs Minterest

One common challenge when running any business is funding. For young businesses especially, getting loans through the banks can be a challenge due to a few reasons:

  • The lack of collateral (necessary for bank loans)
  • Young credit history (which makes banks reluctant to loan)
  • Imperfect financial record
  • Long processing time

With peer-to-peer lending platforms in place, small businesses now have a new avenue to turn to, when in need of funding.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Crowdfunding Platform: Solving Issues with SME Loans

How Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding platform works?

how P2P crowdfunding platforms work in Singapore

  • P2P lending platforms connect the public to businesses in need of funding.
  • Public investors can lend money to these businesses and get returns based on interest rates when borrowers repay the loans.

Pros and cons of investing in P2P lending

Pros

  • Low Barrier of Entry: Low investment commitment (minimum investment of S$100, or less for some platforms)
  • Diversification: Alternative investment products to diversify your portfolio
  • Returns: Alternative returns of more than 10% usually (higher than inflation)
  • Monthly Returns: Investment principal with interest earned returned to investors on a monthly basis

Cons

  • High Risks: Given that the loans are for SMEs, there is a risk that investor lose their investment when the company defaults on payment
  • Platform Risk: If the platform (the middleman) you invest in closes down, your investments will not be managed efficiently

P2P Crowdfunding Platform Comparison Singapore-01

While having the lowest charges can be one of the considerations for your investment, there are definitely more factors to consider. Hence, real user reviews will definitely give a whole lot more insights to each product before you make a decision on the platform of your choice.

 

Players: Moolahsense, Funding Societies, CoAssets, Capital Match, Minterest

All the mentioned platforms are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). They were issued with the Capital Markets Services License.

The onboarding process are generally quite easy and fast.

Funding Societies

  • History: Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya founded Funding Societies in 2015 while studying for their MBA at Harvard. Prior to Funding Societies, Kelvin is a management consultant at Accenture and McKinsey & Co., while Reynold is a leading executive in a family business conglomerate in Indonesia.
  • Funding: US$7.5 million Series A. Investors include Alpha JWC Ventures and Sequoia Capital
  • Interface: Modern, clear and rather easy to use.
  • Has a statistics page to allow a quick overview of some of their numbers.
  • Pricing: 18% of the interest rate earned from investors
  • Loans funded: $70.5 million as of 11 October 2017
  • Rate of default: Lowest default rate of 1.28% as of 15 March 2018. This is, however, a combination of all the countries they operate in and we believe that Indonesia might have bumped up the number a little.
  • Risk Management:
    Borrowers:
     Assessment culminates in an FS Scoring Grade which is a rating of opinion on both the business’ and their owners’ capacity and willingness to repay the loan. Personal guarantor (usually company directors) is required.
    Platform: Funding Societies holds the investors’ funds in a trust account. Should they become insolvent one day, the funds will continue to be handled by an escrow agency, Vistra. Loan agreements in place will continue to be valid and a reputable agency will be assigned to fulfill the service duties.
  • Skin in the game: Funding Societies’ founders invest a bit of their money in every loan they dispatch.

 

MoolahSense reviews

MoolahSense

  • History: First crowd-financing campaign in year 2014. Founded by Lawrence Yong who was a Vice President at Macquarie Capital before he founded MoolahSense.
  • Funding: Undisclosed. Seed round led by East Ventures and Pix Vine Capital.
  • Interface: Modern, clear and easy to use
  • Has a statistics page to allow a quick overview on some of their numbers.
  • Best Pricing: 1% on repayment.
  • Loans funded: $37.9 million as of 11 October 2017
  • Rate of default: 3.48%
  • Risk Management:
    Borrowers: 
    Credit assessment model that assesses potential Issuers according to the nature and outlook of the industry they operate in, the strength of their financials and overall business model as well as the background and character of its Directors.
    Platform: Should Moolah Sense become insolvent one day, DP Information Group to transfer servicing function to ensure that investors continue to receive monthly repayments on the loans that have been dispatched.

 

Capital Match Reviews

Capital Match

  • History: Established in 2014 to create a more inclusive channel for companies to access debt financing and for investors to generate strong fixed-income returns. Founded by Pawel Kuznicki who was a tech entrepreneur with venture development before founding Capital Match.
  • Funding: Raised US$710K from Series A in August 2015. Investors include Innosight Ventures, Crystal Horse Investments, CE-Tech Invest.
  • Interface: More heavy on numbers, fewer graphics.
  • Best Pricing: The price quote on the platform to investors are net of fees. The net interest (net of all fees) per loan from 14% to 35% annualized with an average net interest of 22%.
  • Loans funded: $54.6 million as of 11 October 2017
  • Rate of default: 5%. Take note that Capital Match is on invoice financing, hence a rate of below 5% is rather healthy.
  • Risk Management:
    Borrowers:
     Invoice financing offers more secured arrangement over unsecured loans. Only invoices issued to large debtors (corporates, government entities etc.) are accepted, and Capital Match always verifies invoices and in most cases redirect the payment from a large debtor to our bank account. This allows Capital Match a high level of control of the repayments.
    Platform: Should Capital Match become insolvent one day, investors continue to receive monthly repayments on the loans that have been dispatched.

CoAssets

CoAssets

  • History: Established in 2013, CoAssets is Southeast Asia’s first public listed crowdfunding site with offices in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, China and Indonesia. Founded by Getty Goh who founded Ascendants Assets Pte Ltd, a real estate research firm before founding CoAssets.
  • Funding: Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • Interface: Modern, clear and rather easy to use.
  • Best Pricing: 0% on investors. Charges 3%-5% on the fund raised.
  • Loans funded: $9.5 million as of 31 August 2017
  • Rate of default: 1.47% write off rate.
  • Risk Management:
    Borrowers:
     Investors’ funds are held by a licensed escrow agent. Should they become insolvent one day, the funds will continue to be handled by an escrow agency. Loan agreements in place will continue to be valid and a reputable agency will be assigned to fulfill the service duties.
    Uses CoAssets Risk Assessment Model (CRAM) that was developed together with Ernst & Young (EY) to evaluate the companies they dispatch loans to. Platform: Should CoAssets become insolvent one day, investors continue to receive monthly repayments on the loans that have been dispatched.

 

Minterest

Minterest

  • History: Recently recognised as the top 25 Fintech Companies in Asia in 2017 by APAC CIO Outlook, Minterest is founded by a team of former bankers. Founded by Charis Liau and Ronnie Chia whom both worked together in the same bank for more than 10 years.
  • Funding: Founders and seed investors
  • Interface: Modern, clear and rather easy to use.
  • Best Pricing: 0% on investors.
  • Loans funded: $11.3 million as of 24 March 2018
  • Rate of default: 0% so far on public listed deals. (Note: Loans are considered default after 2 months of non-payment)
  • Risk Management:
    Borrowers:
     Minterest has its proprietary credit assessment model that reflects both quantitative and qualitative factors taking into account business and financial risks of each borrower and their respective financing requirements. Data is also sourced from third party independent information providers (eg. Dun & Bradstreet, Credit Bureau Singapore) etc. More than 200 data points are processed through their proprietary model to generate a MintGrade rating.
    Platform: Minterest holds the investors’ funds in a trust account. Should they become insolvent one day, the funds will continue to be handled by an escrow agency, Vistra. Loan agreements in place will continue to be valid and a reputable agency will be assigned to fulfill the service duties.

Tips for P2P Investing

Should one decides to invest in any of the P2P platforms, do take note:

  • P2P investing is a high-risk investment. Only invest in the portion of your money set aside for risky investments.
  • Always diversify when investing in P2p. Eg. Instead of throwing all of your S$1,000 into one company on the platform, split them up into 10 companies of S$100 each.
  • Diversify your investment into companies across different industries.

 

This article was contributed by Seedly Singapore.

Fundraising Using Retail Investors

Why are SMEs losing out when fundraising from banks and financial institutions? And what can be done to empower their personal economies?

In our feature with Smartup, our very own COO & co-founder Ronnie Chia shared on how our online platform bridges gaps between underserved borrowers and retail investors.

Plus, tips on how investors can better diversify their portfolios. Read on to find out more!

Bridging the gap between retail investors and underserved borrowers

It all started with a single Whatsapp message in February 2016.

The burning question: how do we empower underserved SMEs and small businesses? With that goal in mind, founder and CEO Charis Liau started Minterest with her team.

Launched in May 2017, the digital platform connects businesses with retail investors. Since then, the Monetary Authority of Singapore-licensed startup has facilitated $11 million worth of transactions.

With over 120 years of combined banking and financial experience among its founders, Minterest generates quick, verified credit ratings, and closes deals efficiently. “Our deals get done as fast as one minute for a $50,000 loan to – the fastest for a $200,000 loan— less than three minutes. Otherwise, it takes 30 to 60 minutes for deals to be completed,” shares co-founder and COO, Ronnie Chia.

Minterest also enables retail investors to easily and conveniently sign up, top up their e-wallets, view loan requests, invest, and view real time analytic reports of their investments on one single channel.

minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

Ronnie Chia, COO & co-founder of Minterest.

But why are banks reluctant to loan smaller businesses money?

  1. It’s cost-ineffective

“It sometimes costs them more money to process your loan than the amount loaned in itself!” says Ronnie.

Moreover, SMEs tend to incur higher capital requirements. Each time a bank lends money, it needs to set aside capital.

Here’s where it gets problematic: SMEs tend to be high-risk, meaning there is a higher chance they might not be able to repay debt in time. As such, banks need to set aside more capital to anticipate this possible failure.

Minterest uses its automated credit rating system to make borrowers access loans easily. Thanks to its proprietary algorithm to churn out ratings, the startup uses a much shorter chain of communication compared to banks.

The result? Faster credit rating results, a more cost-effective process, and better access to loans.

minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

  1. There’s little return of investment

“There’s also no foreign exchange for banks to make from SMEs, no cash management, no other business or cross-selling opportunities. So, banks will ask, ‘Why should I bother?’

As such, many banks—especially international banks—are moving away from SME businesses because it costs them too much money.”

minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

How does Minterest help retail investors?

It opens up a variety of new investment possibilities for them.

According to Ronnie, investors want to diversify their portfolio. However, they often face difficulties investing in any business they please. After all, most SMEs would first have to go to a bank, finance company, or private investor.

Here are 3 tips for investors:

  1. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket

“If you have $50,000 to invest, do not invest in 2 or 3 deals. Use that $50,000 and invest in 20 deals. The whole idea is to diversify your investments. Diversify so you can earn returns you are happy with.”

  1. Invest in industries that have a low co-relation with each other

“Let’s take Real Estate and Building Construction as an example. If something goes wrong with Real Estate sector, all your investments in Building Construction get hit. But if you invest in something else like F&B, you avoid huge negative impact.”

  1. Don’t favour a specific industry

“No matter which economic cycle you’re in, every sector has an equal potential to be a winner or loser. It’s more about picking winners and avoiding as many losers as you can.”

 

Future plans

There are 700 million people in Southeast Asia. Of this group, 70% are unbanked. It’s no surprise then that Minterst plans to take its platform to this region of opportunity.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, we’re looking to move our services to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines—possibly India too,” shares Ronnie.

“Many SMEs consist of mom and pop stores between 5 to 10 employees. By helping them with fundraising, we hope to positively impact their lives and change their personal economies.

Charis Liau CEO Minterest, invest, fundraising, SME, smartup, digital transformation, entrepreneur

“Yes, many of them do not have a bank account, but they have mobile phones and an internet connection.

So, even a farmer or lorry driver in a small town can gain access to loans beacuse of social and mobile data. We can send money to them through sundry shops around the corner.

That’s where we see the value of of having an MAS-regulated business going out to other regions, bringing along our processes, technology, compliance and governance so we can create trust among investors.”

 

This article was contributed by Smartup 

Minterest: Top 9 Finalists for Best Lending Platform for the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards

The Benzinga Global Fintech Awards are a yearly showcase of the best and brightest in fintech. Minterest has emerged amongst many to qualify as 1 of the top 9 finalists for the Best Lending Platform for the 2018 Benzinga Global Awards.

This is our feature by Benzinga:

What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?

Ronnie Chia, co-founder and COO: Minterest operates a peer-to-business online lending platform connecting small medium enterprises (“SMEs”) with investors in respect of the former’s borrowing requirements. Simply, we operate a financial market place where loans are requested by companies and invested by the public. We aim to empower both borrowers and investors to achieve their financing and investment objectives through financial inclusion. We aim to bridge the financing gap for the underserved and unbanked businesses in Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. The founding and management team has more than 155 years of banking experience and brings strong financial expertise to assist borrowers in their financing requirements, thereby delivering well-structured investment solutions to the investors.

The matching of borrowers and investors are seamless and carried out digitally using our online platform. Investors have a dashboard to monitor their investments on a real time basis and an e-wallet where money used for investments and their returns are stored. Every deal is run through our proprietary algorithm where static and dynamic data are used to analyse the creditworthiness of each borrower. Only those that clear our requirements are listed on the platform for investment.

Minterest is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and holds a Capital Market Services Licence to deal in securities.

Who are your customers?

As we are essentially a lending market place, SMEs and investors are both our customers.

How long have you been in business?

We have been in business for nine months, have arranged a total of SGD11 million worth of loans for our SME borrowers.

Where are you located?

We are located in Singapore.

Who is your company’s leadership? What kind of experience do they have?

The company was founded by three former bankers who have worked with and known each other for between 12 to 17 years. It is the common vision of bringing financial inclusion that brought us together to deliver on a vision and mission where we aim to contribute to a financial ecosystem that serves rather than rules. The three founders have a combined financial and banking experience of 70 years and together with other members of the top team, boasts a combined 155 years’ of experience in international banks.

Who are your investors, if any?

The company is currently funded by the three co-founders and other investors.

Is there anything else Benzinga should know about your company?

We were recently recognised as the top 25 Fintech Companies in Asia Pacific by APAC CIO Outlook.

For further details on Minterest, please visit us at www.minterest.sg

 

This article was contributed by Benzinga

Minterest Group Chairman Interview on The Breakfast Huddle with Elliot Danker and Yasmin Jonkers (MONEYFM 89.3)

CL Interview – The Curve with Michelle Martin & Desmond Wong (MONEYFM 89.3)

Charis Liau, Lim Cheng Teck, Ronnie Chia

Digitalisation and fintech are major disruptives forces for traditional financial institutions and was a key discussion area at the German-Singaporean Financial Forum on the future of banking. One of the speakers, Charis Liau, Co-Founder and CEO of Minterest, shares with us how this lending platform is shaking up the traditional banking setup.

Many thanks to Michelle Martin and Desmond Wong, MONEY FM 89.3, for the coverage of the event. And a superb job organised by the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Check out the LIVE Podcast below

 

Minterest appoints former StanChart Singapore Chief Executive as Chairman

Mr. Lim retired as ASEAN Vice Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank in May 2017. He was with the bank for over 28 years and had held many senior roles, including Regional Chief Executive of ASEAN, Chief Executive of Singapore, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited.

Mr. Lim had also served on several of the bank’s subsidiary boards. He is recognised for his leadership in driving the growth of Standard Chartered Bank’s China franchise and the transformation of its Singapore and regional business.

“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Lim Cheng Teck as Chairman of the Board of Minterest. Mr Lim’s extensive background and wealth of experience in the finance and banking sector will be instrumental in steering Minterest’s efforts in offering innovative financing solutions for the unbanked and underserved SMEs in Singapore and around the region. We look forward to working closely with Mr. Lim on various strategic initiatives to build a stronger and more inclusive financial eco-system, one that serves and not rules,” – says Ms. Charis Liau, CEO and Co-founder, Minterest.

” I have known the Minterest founding team for over a decade. The financial services industry is facing a wave of digital innovation that will ultimately reshape the way we see and approach the financial sector. I believe that with financial inclusion, people’s lives will experience a positive change. Having worked with the Minterest founding team previously, I am confident that Minterest, through the use of finance and technology, will be in a position to empower the underserved and unbanked in this great region that we live in. I look forward to sharing my perspectives and expertise to continue the growth of Minterest, ” – says Mr. Lim Cheng Teck, Chairman, Minterest.

Minterest is an innovative digital peer-to-business lending platform, set up with the aim to connect and empower SMEs borrowers and investors to achieve their respective financing and investing needs through financial inclusion.

Through technology, Minterest bridges the SME loan financing gap in a fast and efficient manner, empowering borrowers and investors onto the Minterest platform such that borrowers and investors can be matched together, fulfilling their financing and investment needs respectively and effectively.

Minterest’s propriety credit scoring model, algorithm, and work flow allow loans to be processed within hours thereby empowering SMEs to raise financing quickly to turbocharge their businesses, bringing their future to the present. Investors are empowered to take charge of their investments through easy diversification of bite-size deals and convenient real-time online monitoring of their investments.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Lim join us on this journey to build the leading pan-ASEAN digital lending platform” – adds Ms. Liau.

Mr. Lim currently serves on the advisory board of Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics (Singapore Management University) as well as the board of Special Needs Trust Company Limited (SNTC) and is presently Chairman of Bright Vision Hospital. He has an MBA from Brunel University London, and a BA in Economics from the National University of Singapore.

 

This article was contributed by Fintech News Singapore

Peer-to-business lending platform Minterest sets sights for series A round in 2019

The company has completed over $10m worth of deals in the eight months to the end of 2017.

When Banama Corporation was seeking financing to pay suppliers to meet rising customer demand, it had limited options due to its negative shareholder equity position with losses in its last two financial years. It did not help that Banama was in the coal mining industry, which has been in the tough cycle in the past few years, making the prospect of lending to Banama unattractive to most financial institutions. But not to Minterest, a Singapore-based digital peer-to-business lending platform, which connects small businesses to investors.

“Due to historical financials they were unable to secure bank financing and had to rely on family support,” said Charis Liau, CEO and Co-founder of Minterest, of the predicament that Banama faced – and the kind of challenge that their platform was made to overcome. Minterest was able to complete a deal with Banama and established a repeat lending relationship. “The client has returned to do three more deals with interest rate reducing as it builds a track record with the members on the Minterest platform,” said Liau. “Subsequent loan requests were taken up at an increasing pace, the last being fully subscribed in 13 minutes.”

Through its unique approach to deal structuring and the guidance of a management team that has more than 125 years in banking and finance, Minterest has completed over $10m worth of deals in the eight months to end of 2017, according to Liau, which established the startup with two other veteran former bankers, Ronnie Chia and Loo Wei Choong. And the platform is looking to further build momentum leading up to a strong fundraising milestone next year.

“The initial response was very encouraging with deals completed quickly for borrowers while delivering good, attractive returns to investors,” she added. “Funding for Minterest is currently from founders and seed investors. Together with strategic investors’ funding, Minterest has enough runway for its expansion plans before undertaking a series A round in 2019.”

Proprietary credit scoring system

Liau credits Minterest’s key strength to the way it processes deals. The lending platform has developed a proprietary credit scoring system, called MintGrade, to assess deals, taking into account the business and financial risks of each borrower and their respective financing requirements. “We utilise not only quantitative data, but also qualitative observations obtained during the due diligence process,” the co-founder said. “More than 200 data points are processed through our proprietary model to generate a MintGrade rating. Only deals that pass our criteria are listed online for members to invest in.”

The easy application process also serves to attract more borrowers and investors. After signing up online and submitting verification documents, as well as completing a know-your-customer, or KYC, process, investors can start topping up their e-wallets and participate in business loans offered by the SME borrowers. The platform matches investors with borrowers where loans are made, and present investment options from as low as $1,000 with interest rates that range from 12% to 18% per annum, and tenure of up to 12 months. Investments can be monitored real-time on a dashboard, whilst loan documentation is uploaded online for easy safekeeping.

For SME borrowers, Liau said Minterest promises the efficient raising of financing, and quick securing funds within two weeks. A combination of automatic screening and face-to-face meetings enables the platform to better understand the SME’s financing requirements, debt sizing and repayment capability. KYC and MintGrade credit assessments are made, then the startup prepares a loan request fact sheet detailing the borrower’s profile, management, financials, repayment capabilities and additional loan terms. This is then listed so investor members can participate. A portfolio management team monitors repayments after loan imbursement.

“There is a very large credit gap in the market which traditionally banks are not serving,” said Liau. “We aim to fill that gap. And provide our investors with well-structured, risk-mitigated transactions they can invest in, so as to build a diversified portfolio over time.”

 

This article was contributed by Singapore Business Reviews

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts via email.