Lending start-up Taplend launches in UK
Fintech start-up Taplend has launched in the UK offering a combination of peer-to-peer (P2P) and payday lending.
Viktor Ihnatiuk, CEO and co-founder of Taplend, says: “This was a very long, hard and interesting year. We made three iterations of the product, tried to enter the US market twice and failed. We didn’t give up, switched to the EU markets, found new people for the team and started again.”
He adds that its “main focus is the UK market, as there is the strongest penetration of alternative lending products among the population, compared with any other country on the planet”.
In terms of the lending models, the firm says “friends, relatives, and co-workers can safely borrow funds from each other” and the service “will match you the most favourable loan offer provided by institutional lenders”.
The start-up says interest rates start from 0%, with “visible expenses and no hidden fees”. It offers a web version and apps are available in the AppStore and GooglePlay.
Taplend works with four payment system providers and has 42 financial institutions across the UK and Europe – such as Wonga, MangoPay, PingYo – as partners. It says it has “managed to receive a couple of required licences in the UK”.
Since launching in August 2015, it has participated in three accelerator programmes – Technation (US/Kazakhstan), Hub:Raum by Deutsche Telekom (Poland) and Sellalab (Italy) in collaboration with the Level39 technology accelerator (UK).
It has secured a seed round of $200,000 from Italy’s Gruppo Banca Sella and a Ukrainian business angel. Taplend says it is looking for a new round of investments.
The firm has nine people on its team – three co-founders (CEO, CTO, CFO), two marketers, a product designer and three developers.
The founders say: “Turning Taplend into international Booking.com is our main goal for the next five years.”