žadėjau, kad pasidalinsiu naujienomis iš Džakartos, iš parodos Startup Asia Jakarta. Tiesą pasakius, kol kas nieko padoraus neparuošiau, tad ir dalintis nesinori. Tačiau, pavyko užmegzti dialogą su Estijos P2P įmone Investly. Šiuo interviu ir noriu pasidalinti. Lėti estai tobulėja tokiu greičiu, kad net pavydu.
- What are your main challenges in the early beginning of your company.
Getting any marketplace started is challenging, because one needs to work on both demand and supply side. Furthermore, in order for people to start engaging they need to see some track record and on the other hand to show some track record we need people to start engaging. We see a strong demand for growth capital from creditworthy companies, who are left behind the doors of banks who are just incapable of lending to small businesses. Also, private investors are not earning good returns on their savings.
Hence, we are currently very actively building our community, trying to get early adaptors in terms of investors and company owners onto our platform. Our product development is guided by their direct feedback and we are being very transparent and open about our processes to gain trust on both sides. For the moment, there is a lot of explaining and communication to be done to lay down the details of the credit risks and how do we manage our processes, so people could start trusting our platform.
Also, at the time we were entering the market in August, we took part of one of the most demanding business technology startup accelerators in Europe, Startup Wise Guys. This was incredibly intense learning and validation process that helped us to build a very strong foundation for future growth, but it hurt us a bit in the short term, as we could not focus on sales and community development as much as we would have wanted to at the first few months.
For the moment, we have successfully graduated from the accelerator and we see some good developments already. In the long run, this experience will help us to build a truly long lasting solution for the small business financing.
- What is governments attitude towards P2P lending platform in Estonia.
P2P lending did not exist even only few years ago. After the financial crisis, the banks were incapable of solving the problems our economy is facing today. However, due to innovation in the financial model and the technology by non-traditional finance people, a sign of hope emerged for small businesses. P2P business lending started providing access to capital for small businesses that they were blocked from previously. At the same time, the private investors have to be protected as well, which is exactly what the industry and the legislator tends to be aiming for.
Whilst our local Ministry of Finance is developing a suitable legal framework (due to be implemented late 2015) to spur innovation in this area whilst protecting the investors, the Financial Inspection is already meeting the existing players and having active conversation with the platforms such as Investly to make sure we abide by existing rules and take good precaution measures to offer a secure and high quality service. I am personally very satisfied to see that there has been such a proactive stance taken by the legislator, because this helps to spur the P2P lending community in Estonia and attract investors to these platforms as they know that their interests are protected.
- What is your future plans?
Investly continues to build the marketplace for small business financing. We refined our go-to-market strategy and we have several solutions in development that help us to get many good quality loan offers to the platform. We are also extensively on-boarding new investors to be ready to service this demand.
At the moment we are also raising a round of funding for our own activities so we could bring these solutions to the market more quickly. After we have settled in Estonia, we will go to the UK market and bring the technology from Estonia to the UK, where we are getting already many investors from.