Loanboox at the forefront of digitalization

Ritah Ayebare Nyakato

09.10.2018 08:46

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The Loanboox team

Easy, fast, cheap and transparent: these are the four main aspects that made Loanboox’s peer-to-peer financing platform distinctive for the public sector. To-date, more than 1000 financing requests for over CHF16 billion have been requested; out of which CHF7 billion have been closed. Startupticker talked to Stefan Muehlemann, founder & CEO of Loanboox, about the start-up’s recipe for success.

Traditional ways of finding the suitable loan agreement is a tedious, non-transparent and a cost-intensive process. On the one hand, this is due to the involvement of an intermediary, that is the blocker, and on the other hand, it takes a considerable amount of time to find the right credit provider. On top of this, there is little transparency throughout the entire process. The public sector is mainly prone to these problems, which propelled Stefan Muehlemann to establish Loanboox in 2015.

With Loanboox, Muehlemann and his team aim to simplify and digitalize the borrowing and lending process. Loanboox is a debt platform for public sector and large corporations, institutional investors and banks. The platform gives registered borrowers direct access to all designated lenders on the platform, allowing them to compare and apply for loans from the most suitable loan provider. Likewise, the lender has access to a vast portfolio of borrowers. Moreover, the lender has the opportunity to assess the eligibility for credit of the borrower through the platform.

As of recent, the platform now offers companies, municipalities, states and anyone that is registered on it direct access to bonds in the same fashion as with loans.

Loanboox thus makes the entire process of borrowing and lending seamless, transparent, cheaper and fast, as opposed to traditional credit seeking approaches. According to Muehlemann, “the shortest transaction on the platform has taken 20 minutes”.

Rapid growth after three years
With more than 300 investors and over 900 borrowers registered on the platform, Loanboox has received financing requests with a total funding volume of over CHF16 billion and over CHF7 billion have already been closed. The start-up has continued to grow exponentially. In the first half of 2018, cities, municipalities and municipal companies from Switzerland and Germany submitted around 380 loan applications. Compared to the same period last year, this corresponds to an increase of 150 percent in the volume of inquiries.

As the company continues to gain traction in the home and German market, it has recently expanded to Austria and France. Alongside these achievements, the startup has already closed its series A financing round from Angel investors and currently has a team of 40 Employees.

Customer needs first
Muehlemann attributes the success of his company to a couple of aspects, among them emphasis on the customer centricity. According to him: “The ability to respond to customer needs is one of the recipes for success of Loanboox." “Before I started the company, I talked to several people and asked them about their major pain points regarding the loan seeking and issuing process respectively. Consequently, we developed the first prototype of a platform, showed it to them and they loved it, and using their feedback we developed and launched Loanboox.”

The team at Loanboox plays a crucial role in the success of the startup. Muehlemann reveals that the company uses strict recruitment criteria for hiring. Besides its technical developers, its business team brings experience from the public sector, digitalization knowledge, and ideas that are relevant to the business sector in which the company operates. Above all the company has clear processes and a new COO who ensures that the processes stay lean and are aligned with what we want to achieve. Muehlemann emphasizes the virtue of this aspect and advises other startups to apply the same approach in managing their company.

Digitalization for the next generations
As the company continues to thrive, it continues to set digitalization in focus and to prepare the next generation through various initiatives. In July Loanboox together with Advanon, held a workshop for children to enlighten them on the essence of moving freely in the virtual world and on how Fintech companies work. Thanks to the success of the workshop, Muehlemann says he will continue to support such initiatives.

“Digitalisation makes organizations and peoples’ lives better, and we believe that digitalization is at its best if people can benefit from it. That is why through these initiatives, we want everyone to understand the opportunities that digitalization brings, and for young people to identify its potential", concludes Muehlemann.

Photo: The Loanboox team

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