31st Oct, 2012

How rebuildingsociety.com Began – Our Founder’s Story

Dan Rajkumar set up Web Translations in 2001. Over the next ten years it became a successful business, translating its clients’ websites using a network of translators located across the world to help them penetrate new markets. During that time Dan built up a good rapport with his bank and was able to source finance as and when the business required it to aid growth.

However, like many small business owners, he found the rules of the game had changed once the recession hit: “My bank’s lending criteria and its attitude to risk had changed and the types of products being offered to me, including factoring and invoice financing, were not right for the business.

“As a service business I couldn’t offer the types of fixed assets required by the bank and I didn’t want anything secured against my personal property – that’s why I run a limited company. What I really needed was a loan, but the only terms available came with an APR of 17.5 per cent. It was unaffordable”, said Dan.

Dan didn’t take up the banks offer; instead he turned to a local enterprise fund. It was able to help him, but took 82 days to process his application, by which time the needs of the business had moved on.

With further growth of Web Translations dependent on new sources of finance, Dan did some more digging and unearthed crowdfunding, which had been a big success in America. After a bit more research he decided to apply for a loan through a crowdfunding UK platform. He went on to have his loan application filled by a network of individual investors, well over 100 in fact, and was presented with a repayment APR he was happy with.


29th Oct, 2012

Resuscitating Streets

Reading about the latest attempt to resuscitate Britain’s high streets by the Distressed Retail Property Taskforce fills one with feelings of deva-vu. This time last year, Mary Portas was trying to do the same, but the cost of living has continued to rise in that time and shoppers will continue to shop online because it is convenient. These campaigns seek to address one side of the problem – if the shoppers had more money to spend, they probably would.

So it’s not looking good for the high street, but the UK has to accept that the business model of the last 50 years has changed. Consumers will vote with their feet and retailers might choose to move exclusively online to save the physical overheads incurred through owning or renting premises.

There have been calls for all out of town planning applications to automatically go through ministers, but why should a business forego an excellent opportunity to get shoehorned into a unit that might not be the right size or dynamic for its operation?

You can’t halt change, but there is opportunity there.


26th Oct, 2012

“rebuildingsociety.com is an attitude…”

rebuildingsociety.com’s Julian Wells took part in a live podcast this week where he set out rebuildingsociety.com’s vision: an attitude that favours productivity over speculation, or more simply, for the good of society, spare capital can be better deployed through lending to businesses than saving through banks.

Hosted by Coreco’s Andrew ‘Monty’ Montlake, the debate centred on the role of crowdfunding in the commercial finance market and how far the concept can go in the mainstream. Alongside Julian were Funding Circle’s James Meekings and Laura McMullen, while Coreco’s Peter Davies, who had recently used crowdfunding to help a client secure finance, provided the real life case study.

You can listen to the podcast in full here:


25th Oct, 2012

Transferwise – Another Financial Services Innovator we Admire

Sometimes innovations are so simple you have to scratch your head to try and work out why it hasn’t been done before – or curse yourself that you didn’t think about it first.

That’s exactly the feeling you get when you look at Transferwise, an online currency exchange service that uses the mid-market exchange rate and charges just £1 for a transfer of less than £300.

So you’re saving on the exchange rates typically charged by bureau de changes which include a mark-up and service charges.

Transferwise – well done, you’re making it easier and cheaper for individuals and companies to move money around Europe.

No doubt the banks will look at the simplicity of the approach and bemoan the overheads that cause them to pass charges much larger in comparison on to the customer.

They’ll also be concerned about the impact on profits. Currency exchange is a lucrative revenue stream and customers now have a viable alternative which means they don’t have to accept previous high charges as a necessary cost of their transaction.

It is similar to the way users of peer-to-peer and peer-to-business lending platforms are benefiting from innovations in finance.


23rd Oct, 2012

The Investor Stats Widget is coming…

Soon, registered users will be able to see their investment statistics at a glance with the Investor Stats Widget, which will appear on the Dashboard and login page.

As shown in this preview image, lender users will get information on returns, outstanding loans, deductions and risk will be visible. It will update in real time as you make investments, receive repayments or add funds to your account. With this information you can adjust your risk appetite, which will filter through to your automatic bid settings.

If you’re registered but not able to add funds to your account yet, we’ll need to verify your address. You can start this process by following this link and logging in to your account:

Newly registered users must verify their address before adding funds.


Happy lending!

23rd Oct, 2012

Business Desk Features rebuildingsociety.com

Investors turning to crowdfunding for financial support

CROWDFUNDING is increasingly being turned to as an avenue of funding for start-up companies. Ian Briggs reports on those aiming to make Yorkshire a key centre for the sector’s growth.


19th Oct, 2012

Challenger brands shaking up financial services

Tesco might be the biggest supermarket in the UK, but it’s still a minnow in the mortgage lending world. But that hasn’t stopped it offering a range of products this week that will excite borrowers, including rates of 1.99 per cent for 60 per cent loan to value customers.

It just illustrates that meeting the needs of consumers doesn’t have to be the preserve of the established brands. Tesco, as a new entrant, is nimbler, with no legacy overheads that have to be factored into deals and a system custom built for mortgage lending, so it’s able to offer attractive products and win business from longer-standing providers.

There are similarities with the peer-to-peer and peer-to-business lending markets too.


19th Oct, 2012

rebuildingsociety.com at MBE London

Dan Rajkumar, rebuildingsociety.com’s managing director

Crowdfunding platform rebuildingsociety.com has announced it will be exhibiting and presenting at the MBE London 2012 on 14 and 15 November in London as part of its launch campaign in the intermediary market.

rebuildingsociety.com is a peer-to-business crowdfunding platform for businesses to raise finance through loans. It hosts commercial loan applications on its website and invites its community of investors to contribute micro loans at their preferred rate of interest. This creates a secured or unsecured loan that is then advanced to the business, with a fee of 1.5 per cent payable to the introducing adviser.

Daniel Rajkumar, rebuildingsociety.com’s managing director, said: “We’re building an introducer channel and MBE London 2012 is the flagship networking event for advisers, lenders and suppliers to the commercial lending market, so we’re delighted to be exhibiting and speaking.

“Over the last two months we’ve seen strong interest in our proposition from brokers who are involved in commercial or specialist loans and we know this is a group that is always strongly represented at the show.

“Crowdfunding is helping businesses secure finance quickly and at very competitive rates, so advisers should engage with platforms like rebuildingsociety.com to add diversity to their funding options.”

James Prosser, MBE Show Director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome rebuildingsociety.com to the show for the first time. Although it’s a new business, there are a number of individuals involved who have supported the show over the last 10 years so we’re confident they will make the most of their presence. The London Mortgage Business Expo has a proven track record of helping new businesses to establish and enhance their presence in the intermediary market.”

rebuildingsociety.com will also be taking to the stage as part of the AMI-organised seminar programme. Julian Wells, marketing adviser and head of introducer channel will be speaking about marketing, technology and new media, and how the emerging crowdfunding sector is offering advisers new promotional and business development opportunities.

rebuildingsociety.com will be on stand F20.


17th Oct, 2012

Press Release: Nigel Payne Joins rebuildingsociety.com

rebuildingsociety.com, the peer-to-business lending platform, has announced the appointment of Nigel Payne, the former MD of BM Solutions and Assurant Intermediary as a non-executive director for its introducer channel.

Payne has joined former HML and Mortgages PLC marketing director Julian Wells to help the peer-to-business lending site generate borrower leads through adviser referrals.

Payne said: “I am delighted to be joining a really innovative and exciting venture in rebuildingsociety.com. In today’s market where the major lenders are restricting their lending, such innovative approaches to finding new sources of funds for quality businesses that are looking to grow should be applauded.”

rebuildingsociety.com pays advisers 1.5 per cent on completed deals and takes on businesses currently trading profitably with two years of filed accounts. It then promotes the opportunity through its website to a network of investors who pledge small amounts to create a secured or unsecured loan.

Daniel Rajkumar, rebuildingsociety.com’s managing director added: “Nigel’s connections and reputation in the introducer market will help get across the benefits and credibility of our proposition to advisers. With Nigel and Julian leading our campaign, we’ll be able to create strong long-term relationships with advisers and help their clients access finance.”

rebuildingsociety.com will be exhibiting at the Mortgage Expo in London on 14 and 15 November.

17th Oct, 2012

Crowdfunding: Enabling Advisers to Become Marketers

If one of your business clients came to you and asked for help marketing their business you’d probably introduce them to a marketing agency, right?

That’s the logical thing to do of course, because you’re a finance specialist, not a marketer. But the world is changing all the time and we’re all having to evolve and adapt. There are now an increasing number of opportunities for advisers to genuinely help their clients to promote their business, and you don’t need to be a marketing expert to do this.

The dynamics of the emerging peer-to-business lending sector are enabling advisers to proactively offer added value to their business clients (whether retail or business to business) whilst helping  them secure competitively priced finance. (more…)

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