As Stockholm-based startup Lendify write in their press release, “Sweden, a country famous for its early adopters when it comes to the web, has been lagging behind many other countries on the P2P lending scene.”
Peer-to-Peer loans are one of the most talked about sectors in financial tech thanks to banks’ tightening of loans since the great recession, which squeezed out access to capital for many organizations. In it’s place came startups that allow users to lend to each other, following in a similar “sharing economy” trend of AirBNB and Uber by skipping older institutions. While Lendify is right to say there’s a lot of room in Sweden for P2P lending, it’s not to say there are no Swedish companies working in this space – Sweden’s FundedByMe, a crowdfunding company, is also exploring P2P loans with the crowdfunding angle, allowing businesses to raise cash while investors see a quicker return on investment (compared to an exit years down the road).
While FundedByMe seems to be using selective dealflow while putting a lot of hype behind their projects, Lendify says their edge is in a meticulous and innovative credit scoring model. It makes sense given Sweden’s history – one of the biggest ‘startup’ players in Sweden is Klarna, a payments platform valued at over $1.4 billion that allows you to pay for online goods after you receive it, and therefore must evaluate risk on a massive scale. With that much risk evaluation talent laying around, it makes sense that a startup like Lendify should have the room and tools to grow.
“If you compare the banks ́ loan spreads to the credit risk for personal loans in Sweden, it’s clear that they charge their customers to much, especially on unsecured consumer loans. Swedes are among the best in the world at repaying their loans and despite high fixed costs and capital requirements the banks ́ profit are larger than ever. We feel that it ́s time for the Swedish lending market to become more transparent and effective with the use of technology” Says Nicholas Sundén-Cullberg, CIO and one of the founders at Lendify.
Lendify soft launched in September 2014, offering loans between SEK 5000 and SEK 350.000 (€520-€36.000) without collateral, with an effective interest rate between 5 and 15%. The service is currently still targeting the Swedish speaking market, but you don’t need to speak Swedish to realize it’s got to be one of the most beautifully designed platforms in the space.
We’ll stay posted with the company going forward.