WeOwn expands business finance platform by launching peer-to-peer lending marketplace
After improving the way that growing businesses can raise equity, WeOwn is now expanding our alternative business finance marketplace by launch a new peer-to-peer loans service.
WeOwn business users will now have the choice between whether they want to carry out an equity fundraise to generate capital or borrow money from suitable lenders.
Our new peer-to-peer loans service is completely digital, and has been designed to make accessing finance simpler, quicker and more cost-effective for SMEs – many of whom struggle to get funding from mainstream bank loans.
A better financing opportunity for businesses
Bank loans are supposed to help businesses grow, but the story is very different for SMEs in comparison to major enterprises. European Central Bank data has shown that while 45% of larger firms have applied for a bank loan, only 27% of smaller businesses have followed suit – and many of them face rejection.
Relatively high risk-levels and low borrowing amounts mean mainstream banks don’t tend to see the value in lending to SMEs, as their cost structure and processes make small loans less profitable to them. Yet, 80% of European SMEs are ‘micro’ businesses with less than 20 employees, seeking loans of €100,000 or less.
In contrast, many professional investors understand that lending to businesses at their highest stage of growth is very lucrative; the alternative lending market in Europe will surpass the €5 billion mark in 2020, and top €6.7 billion by 2024. That’s why WeOwn has built a peer-to-peer loan marketplace; to bring dynamic businesses and ambitious lenders together.
Quicker, simpler, cheaper access to capital
How does the WeOwn lending marketplace work? Using the blockchain technology we developed for our equity fundraising service, we’ve created a digital lending platform that makes it easy for SMEs to check their eligibility, apply for a loan and match with one or more lenders.
The entire process takes place online. First, business owners answer a couple of quick questions to check they are eligible. Then, we ask them to complete a short digital application, which includes an independent credit check run by one of our rating partners.
The whole application takes just minutes, whereas it can take several days to reach the same point through other lending platforms.
Heard enough? Go straight to our business loan page to register your interest; our lending marketplace will be launching soon.
Lenders & companies matched in 7 working days
When a business has successfully passed the independent credit check and their application is complete, it’s published on our marketplace dashboard for potential lenders to view. Matches can be instant, but others may take a short time – our platform aims to find matches for SMEs within 7 working days maximum.
The exact amount and terms of the loan are arranged between the lender and the company borrowing money. However, WeOwn will manage all the administration and compliance tasks, to make the lending process as straightforward as possible.
Asides from a small fee to complete the credit check, which is redeemable against loan repayments once funding has been secured, there are no fees for businesses to pay until they have been successfully matched with a lender or lenders.
Giving SMEs even more funding choices
The WeOwn lending platform has been developed by our in-house team, on a tried-and-tested blockchain infrastructure we built for our equity fundraising platform, so our technology has already been live tested.
SMEs applying for a loan must have been in business for a minimum of two years to be eligible for financial support. They also must originate from one of our specified countries, and they must operate in an approved sector. Further details are available through our website FAQs.
After shaking up the investment market with our equity finance platform, launching a peer-to-peer lending platform makes complete sense for WeOwn – as our CEO, Sascha Ragtschaa, explains.
“Too many businesses cannot access capital when they need it the most, or the options on offer to them are slow, complex and expensive. Our equity finance platform has already given SMEs a better route to raising capital, and now our loans marketplace will provide simple access to finance for businesses seeking microloans from €20,000 upwards.
“WeOwn is the only alternative business finance platform offering businesses the choice between taking out a loan or doing equity fundraising, which makes us unique in the market. Both financing products are powered by the same blockchain and tech-driven approach, which means our users benefit from quick, affordable access to capital, whichever route they choose.”
Visit our business loan page to register your interest. Our lending marketplace will be going live soon.