Look & Fin, the largest Belgian player in the field of crowdlending, plans to expand again in Europe. The company was founded in 2012 and has been active for two years in France. It intends to embark on two new countries in early 2018. “These countries remain confidential. Negotiations are still ongoing with local authorities,” said senior analyst Nicolas Verdbois on Wednesday.
Crowdlending differs from crowdfunding where individuals (the crowd) lend small amounts of money to a specific company or project. Crowdlending is a form of corporate finance, without a bank, where investors lend money against interest via a digital platform to several borrowers.
The concept is booming and is considered an option for SMEs which may face difficulties to get bank loans. Look & Fin, a pioneer in crowdfunding in Belgium, reported 100% growth last year.
On average, more than one million euros is invested monthly via Look & Fin. Loans vary between €50,000 euros and €1 million, with an average term of 38 months. Individuals invest on average €2,400 and can count on an average return of 7.6%. Look & Fin focuses on SMEs and does not lend to start-ups.