Has the peer lending revolution finally started taking off in Europe? IsePankur, the Estonian based peer to peer lending network has announced last year that they started to allow anyone within the EU to invest on the platform, however it was still only the Estonians who could actually look for a loan. Recently, however they opened up the platform to Finnish residents.
This means that now anyone in Finland can request a loan using Isepankur.fi and many are doing just that. In the first 9 weeks of operations, IsePankur reported 13 million euro of loan applications in Finland. Combined with Estonia, they are now hitting over €800 000 of issued loans monthly. The month of September, for example, reached €859 500 and IsePankur reports a 20% month to month growth of this figure.
What is perhaps even more impressive is that compared to the same time last year, they have grown 2655% in loan volume and are planning further expansions.
ArcticStartup reached out to founder and CEO Pärtel Tomberg who told us that Isepankur is not planning to stop there and is already getting ready to roll-out in Spain with another 10 markets on the radar.
Talking about the expansion, Tomberg commended that the goal is to use the “...same platform, same system. If you are a lender from Germany, you can choose to invest in Spain, Finland and Estonia and you can diversify between countries. Because there are different interest rates in different markets.”
However the company actually has wider plans at heart, according to Tomberg, and is going to apply for a financial license and perhaps even a banking license in the future.
“Peer to peer lending is a model how we serve our customers effectively. But our goal is to build something that provides consumer finance, that provides single, unified standard approach - regardless where the customer comes from.” says Tomberg.
What this means is hard to decode exactly, but Tomberg did also mention “Strong alternative to credit cards, and loans that can be used across countries and continents”. This definitely gives a lot of room for ideas of where the company might be heading and with 2655% growth year on year in one of the smallest markets in the EU might also give us a hint as to what awaits them in the future.
As a full disclosure, I have personally started investing on IsePankur recently and so far I am extremely happy with the results. The promised interest rate is better than most other investments I could do but still remains reasonable for those applying for a loan. It is extremely easy to apply for one, by the way, and it looks like the interest you can get can be lower than many other banks. Waiting patiently to see how many of my loans will default, but so far it looks promising.
Since many of the company numbers are wide open, here is the hockey stick curve:
Top Image Courtesy of Shutterstock // Banking