Lendingpot was set up in 2019 to provide greater transparency and efficiency for SMEs in Singapore when applying for a business loan. The need is even more apparent with a growing alternative lending market which is forecasted to grow to US$396mil in 2027 by a Statista report in Aug 2022. This amount is likely to be even more as the industry is only loosely regulated. In Singapore alone, there are more than 150 alternative SME lenders providing liquidity to businesses traditionally not supported by banks. As such, there is a need to create awareness and legitimacy of these lenders and provide a more efficient way to access such capital.
With that in mind, Lendingpot was created. Our mission from the start has always been clear and simple – to ensure businesses get access to the best financial products. This is done through 3 specific ways. Firstly, to increase competition, secondly, to simplify the loan search and application process and lastly to enhance overall awareness of financial literacy.
The first is done through competition of 118 relationship managers from more than 45 pre-screened lenders on our platform. The second is done through technology where our digital application is connected directly to our lenders and applicants no longer need to apply to each lender individually. At the same time, we allow clients to keep a depository of all their documents and added MyInfo to reduce the number of documentations required. Lastly, we provide customized feedback based on the at a set collected from our client to help them improve their chances for a loan.
Within these 3 years, our success is shown through our 700 SME members and over $25mil loans raised.
Therefore, in 2022, we decided to do the same for the alternative lending market for personal loans. With the industry supported by over 160 licensed money lenders, borrowers are often left wondering where to start their loan search. Most follow the first one they can find in their nearest vicinity or the first one that pops up on Google. Despite that, they risk the chance of not getting the best rate or even an approval. To complicate matters, personal lenders are not allowed to market or advertise their services on print or digital media as restricted by Ministry of Law. This makes it extremely difficult for money lenders to publish their rates competitively and for borrowers to be informed of what is available to them.
As such, we see a huge gap in the market of which we can fulfil and serve, especially when the alternative lending market for personal loans is expected to have crossed the S$1bn mark in 2022 having already reaching $586mil in 2015.
Our platform will allow applicants to make a single application to reach multiple pre-screened licensed money lenders and allow them to return with offers within 2 hours. This allows borrowers to instantly have an increased chance of approval and have more than 1 offer to compare from. Lenders on the platform are also forced to put their best foot forward knowing that there is other competition on board. To aid and expedite the process, we also integrated MyInfo and will continue to work on new upgrades to reach a zero-document application by 2023 as we know the typical urgency of such request. Finally, we will continue to keep to our mission to enhance the financial literacy of members and provide data driven advisory on their financial position and provide recommendations on the right kind of liquidity pool our members can tap on. An example is if a client is eligible for a bank loan (a cheaper source), he will be redirected to banks instead. We will also provide recommendations for debt consolidation based on the loan data that we collected. All of which, will provide best outcomes in approvals and pricing for our clients.
Here, we would like to thank our SME members for affirming our mission and validating the work that we have been doing. And we look forward to expanding our mission to day-to-day individuals as well - to deliver a cost effective, fast and efficient, and informative loan marketplace for all.
All of us at Lendingpot
Benjamin heads up Lendingpot with a background in all things SME. He was previously a commercial banker at Citi with experience in Relationship management, Credit Risk, Trade Operations and Corporate FX sales; and understands the difficulties SMEs face in this opaque world of SME financing.