Uppspretta is an Icelandic startup focused in social lending. At the moment Uppspretta is only available in Iceland. It was co-founded by Ragnheiður Magnúsdóttir, one of the panelists in the ArcticEvening Iceland. The site works in such a way that it works as a facilitator between people who want a loan and people who are willing to lend some money. For the time being, the site is concentrating on smaller companies and startups as their market.
The service launched only a few weeks ago at the beginning of October and has already seen close to 10 000 visits to the site. Needless to say that while the economy is hitting companies hard with the lack of financing, civil initiatives such as Uppspretta are a very welcome sight. While companies are able to apply for loans up to 3M ISK (about 16 200 €), bidders for the loan can start lending from as low as 2500 ISK (about 13,50€). All the companies applying for a loan need to do is naturally state the amount of money they need along with the length of payback and maximum interest they’re willing to pay.
I talked to Ragnheiður about the service and she mentioned that while they have seen quite a bit of activity for loan applications, they are still looking for people willing to help in financing companies. At the moment there were more than 20 loan applications on the site with the smallest applications creating the most interest.
It remains to be seen how the very popular concept from Kiva works with financing Western startups. I can understand the possibility of giving an interest free loan to entrepreneurs from developing countries as the sums are dramatically smaller than those of the needs of entrepreneurs from countries such as Iceland. Nevertheless, like I mentioned before – I love seeing civil initiatives such as Uppspretta to facilitate healing in the startup scene.