on the rebuildingsociety.com blog
Following the success of the inaugural event in 2016, FinTech North 2017 is once again set to take place during Leeds Digital Festival week and aims to attract 350 delegates and support from the FinTech community in the Leeds City Region, across the UK, and internationally.
FinTech North 2017 will be hosted on the 26th April 2017 at aql in Leeds. The goal of the event is to generate collaboration and knowledge share within the financial services and technology community and to generate tangible economic benefits for the region.
The agenda for the one day conference will feature a number of well-known keynote speakers who will cover topics including innovation, alternative finance, big data and analytics, machine learning, digital identity and authentication.
View the 2016 FinTech North video:
In recent months the interest and activity in the FinTech arena in Leeds has heightened, with developments including the publication of a FinExtra report into FinTech in the Leeds City Region and the announcement of a new Digital Laboratory which is being led by Finexus and has gained high profile corporate support.
Julian Wells, Director of Whitecap Consulting, says: “There is a strong desire by numerous stakeholders in the Leeds City Region to increase the profile, capability and economic value of FinTech in the region. This year by launching FinTech North we laid the foundations which will enable us to deliver an even more impactful event in 2017 and help put FinTech firmly at the heart of the northern digital economy – particularly the Leeds City Region – making it attractive to UK and international organisations.”
Dr Chris Sier, Director of FiNexus and FinTech Envoy for the Northern Powerhouse, who spoke at FinTech North and will chair the 2017 event, says: “Opportunity was a theme from every speaker at FinTech North 2016. The challenge for Leeds is to work together to ensure our City has the best chance of exploiting the opportunity to become a true FinTech centre of excellence.”
Nearly 200 business leaders attended the first FinTech North conference in Leeds, and speakers and delegates were drawn from places as diverse as Estonia, Germany, London and Manchester.
Dan Rajkumar, Managing Director of rebuildingsociety.com and White Label Crowdfunding, summed up why the next FinTech North event will be a great opportunity for the region: “There is no doubt Leeds is now seen as a key FinTech and digital leader outside London both for infrastructure and talent. FinTech North 2017 will provide the delegates with a fascinating day of insight and the opportunity to network with industry peers and some of the region’s best known FinTech companies and governmental bodies.”
Registration for FinTech North 2017 is now open – click here to book your free place.
For speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Whitecap Consulting.
11th Nov, 2016
In 2014, Candy Hero Ltd. came to rebuildingsociety.com looking for an influx of funds in order to expand. They planned to use the investment to boost wholesale sales, strengthen equity and then open a new UK store in time to maximise Christmas time sales.
Candy Hero Ltd. was founded in December 2008, by two entrepreneurial siblings with a mission to bring unique, specialist and delicious sweets from all over the world to sweet-toothed customers in the UK and Europe.
The online shop was launched in 2009, to be followed later by high street shops in York and Leeds. Visit one of their shops, and prepare to be tempted by Birthday Cake Golden Oreos, exploding cinnamon candy, Nerds, giant lollipops, wasabi candy and boxes of Jelly Belly Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans, to name just a few from the vast collection. The 10,000 square foot warehouse in Bradford sees around 4,000 unique product lines carefully handled by employees individually chosen to fit the company’s high energy, innovative ethos.
The sweet importers and retailers’ first loan application was a great success; brothers and co-owners Frank and Leo managed to raise the target £50,000 from investors. Candy Hero Ltd. invested the money they raised into the wholesale distribution of imported sweets, snacks, and groceries. They decided not to open a shop, as they were unable to find an adequate unit within their chosen city. Instead, they focused on their online sector. In the last two years, the company has:
- grown turnover significantly; 2015 to 2016 saw 83% growth
- increased their stock-holding capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet
- acquired a great number of additional wholesale customers
- built a proprietary pre-order system
- co-ordinated a huge UK product range comprising around 10,000 lines available for pre-order and export
- improved internal systems with strong procedures that improve staff training processes
- added powerful price and margin controls and mitigated currency fluctuations
Frank commented on their experiences with rebuildingsociety:
“They provided a smooth process prior to listing the application, support throughout, and a platform that is clear and easy-to-use. Rebuildingsociety is a very impressive social business that is a powerful tool when you need extra finance above and beyond what may have been already possible.”
Perhaps one of the keys to their online funding success was the company’s open-door policy. Frank discusses business with his team quite openly, “from the top to the bottom of the organisation, in response to any question.” Therefore, he embraced the discussion forums available on rebuildingsociety.com, believing that “talking business with lenders in a peer-to-peer environment with the same openness and clarity builds up the confidence to invest in us.”
Now, Candy Hero is back with a new loan application. The return borrowers are well-supported by rebuildingsociety’s lender base, something they hope will help them fund their £300,000 loan application. If successful, the team plan to refinance £184,000 to achieve cheaper interest per month and fewer capital repayments per month, and use additional capital to add to the stock cycle.
When asked why they decided to return to Rebuildingsociety, Frank explained that while their bank is very supportive, recently offering them a new import loan facility, they cannot approve a loan of this size. As he commented: “The only method of gaining a loan of this size would be crowdfunding and the only place I want to crowdfund is Rebuildingsociety.”
Read about the company on their website, and find out more about their loan application at rebuildingsociety.com.
Lending to businesses carries risk. Past returns are not necessarily a guide to future returns. Any unrepaid capital is at risk of arrears or default. To find out more please visit http://reb.so/risk
11th Oct, 2016
Loans on rebuildingsociety.com carry varying types and levels of security, but what does this mean?
What is security?
Loans on rebuildingsociety.com can carry the following types of security.
- Personal Guarantee
- Corporate Guarantees
- All Asset Debentures
- 1st and 2nd Priority Charge Legal charges over property
Each loan profile will highlight what security is being offered on the particular loan. The headline information can be found on the Overview tab. Every loan on rebuildingsociety.com, unless otherwise stated carries at least a Personal Guarantee.
Security on a loan is the instrument that will be used to recover funds owed should a borrower fall into arrears and their account declared to be in default. The security will allow you or rebuildingsociety.com on your behalf to try and recover the money owed to you. Therefore, generally speaking, the more security offered by a borrower the greater the chance of recovering the debt if things go wrong.
Should it affect my lending decision?
In deciding to lend to a business, the security offered by the borrower should act to give you a higher level of comfort in your decision.
While each lender has their own underwriting system and investment strategy, generally speaking when assessing a business before bidding to lend, you should carefully assess the merits of the business itself rather than solely focusing on the security being offered. This is because loan security should only be a back-up to the lending decision itself as it only becomes a factor should the business be unable to maintain repayments and default. Many lenders may consider it prudent to first assess the business’s ability to repay the loan through assessment of the accounts and other information supplied before assessing the security as a later consideration.
It is important to note that whilst all loans on rebuildingsociety.com carry some level of security, recovery of funds owed to you are never guaranteed.
How is the Rebs loan book secured?
Rebuildingsociety,com has some of of the most stringent criteria on security being offered on its loans when compared to other platforms. What we mean by this is that whilst many of our competitors may offer loans of over £200,000 ‘unsecured’ (without a personal guarantee, or with a personal guarantee but nothing else), we insist that all loans carry at least one Personal Guarantee from the main directors or shareholders, and where the loan is for more than £50,000 we require extra security in addition to a personal guarantee.
How has this changed over time?
We try and source a variety of different businesses with a variety of different security so that there are opportunities to suit a diverse range of risk appetites.
We’ve taken a look into the level of security offered on all loans. Taking into account that many loans carry more than one type of security, we have only taken into account the ‘primary’ security on the loan. So for example; where a loan is secured on a PG, Debenture and 2nd Charge, we regard the 2nd charge as the ‘primary security’ as it is generally regarded as the strongest of the three and as such we have not included the other ‘secondary security’ in the graphs below.
The below pie chart illustrates the current primary security levels of all active loans in the Rebs loan book.
70.99% of the current active loan book is secured with more than a personal guarantee, with over 32% currently secured on a legal property charge.
Over time our lender base have asked us to provide them with more property secured lending opportunities, a call we have tried to answer.
The graph below shows the change in percentage of all loans over the years secured by the various primary security types. As you’ll be able to see, the number of loans secured only on a personal guarantee has decreased year on year since 2014, whilst the proportion of loans secured by 2nd charges has increased year on year at a higher rate. This year already, we have secured more of our loan book on 1st and 2nd legal charges than any year prior to it .
Going forward, we will continue to try and source creditworthy businesses backed with higher levels of security.
25th Apr, 2016
New partnership with crowdfunding app announced.
rebuildingsociety.com are delighted to announce a brand new partnership with crowdfunding aggregator OFF3R. All our new lending opportunities will now be available on OFF3R, which is a free-to-use crowdfunding aggregator providing its users with the latest opportunities from over 25 of the leading platforms in the UK and Europe.
The OFF3R partnership is the latest to make use of the leading rebuildingsociety.com API, as we endeavour to integrate more closely with those who aggregate the industry and widen access to crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending as it grows.
The mobile app is available on both iOS and Android, and allows users to tailor specific notifications and settings according to their lending tendencies and the areas of crowdfunding that interest them most. The app can be downloaded from www.OFF3R.com.
19th Jan, 2015
2015 is going to be a big year for peer-to-peer lending and rebuildingsociety, so we’re delighted to be expanding our marketing team.
Adam Knott and Laura Cundall join as Digital Marketing Manager and Marketing Executive respectively. Adam was previously an SEO Consultant at Web Translations, the Leeds-based translation services agency, while Laura is a recent Economics graduate from Newcastle University.
Nick Moules explained a bit about how they will help rebuildingsociety spread its message further, bringing in more loan applications and lenders to fill them:
“Digital marketing is a big part of what we do, so Adam’s help in understanding the science of search engine algorithms and crunching our data will help us refine our marketing activity to be more efficient and effective. Our online advertising activity has returned some great results already and he is also going to be pioneering our ‘Refer a friend’ scheme, which lenders will find out more about in due course.
“Laura will be helping us make more of our success stories, deepening our relationships with borrowers by telling their stories pre and post-auction and assisting in customer support enquiries. She will also play a big part in organising our events so we’re maintaining all-important offline contact with people too.
“The extra capacity should allow us to be more bullish with our marketing activity and set us up for a really exciting 2015.”
12th Jan, 2015
rebuildingsociety.com, the UK peer-to-business lending platform, has announced a new partnership with SIPPclub, which allows qualifying rebuildingsociety investors to invest through a specially-designed Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
All investments made through a SIPP are tax-free, regardless of the investor’s existing tax status. As investors qualify for tax relief on SIPP contributions at their highest rate of Income Tax, they will be able to generate more interest by investing through a SIPP, compared with investing on rebuildingsociety.com with their cash.
The EvolutionSIPP, which is exclusively for SIPPclub members, has been approved for such investments on rebuildingsociety.com and the firm joins fellow peer-to-peer sites ThinCats, Assetz Capital, Capital Stackers and Proplend in the SIPPclub portfolio.
09th Oct, 2014
A Yorkshire-based sweet company has expanded its product range after raising £50,000 from investors.
Candy Hero, a sweet importer and retailer with stores in Bradford, York and Leeds, raised the finance with a loan from peer-to-business lender, rebuildingsociety.
The cash was used to increase the company’s stock of candy, which is imported from around the world, after a surge in demand from customers both in store and online.
22nd Sep, 2014
Following the historic referendum result announced this morning, UBS has circulated the below reaction, which you may find informative.
The Scottish public has voted to remain part of United Kingdom, ending weeks of uncertainty.
15th Sep, 2014
Peer-to-peer lending platform, rebuildingsociety, has joined the rapidly-expanding Alternative Business Funding (ABF) portal – to support SMEs requiring non-bank finance solutions.
Accounting for over 85% of the UK’s alternative business funding market, ABF continues to receive widespread backing from industry bodies including the British Banking Association, Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
The latest supporter is the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers which promotes the ABF’s aim to be the designated portal for bank referrals. Rebuildingsociety – which has a loan book of almost £4m, and has grown 250 per cent since 2013, becomes the portal’s twelth alternative funder.
Working closely with key government departments and stakeholders, ABF has played a lead role in the conception and delivery of The Treasury’s plans to introduce legislation whereby banks would match SMEs that have been rejected for loans, with alternative finance providers.
19th Aug, 2014
Leeds-based peer-to-peer lending platform rebuildingsociety – which has a £3.5m loan book and has grown 250 per cent since December 2013 – marked its best month ever in July.
A total £610,000 of loans advanced to seven UK businesses included rebuildingsociety’s largest to date – £315,000 to Norfolk-based excavation and groundwork specialists GRA Project Management.
rebuildingsociety enables individuals to lend varying amounts of money – starting from just £10 – to established UK businesses. Companies repay monthly loans to the peer to peer lending platform, which acts as an administrator on behalf of its lenders. As part of a crowd, individuals earn pre-tax annual returns from 8-20 per cent, while businesses receive vital growth finance quickly, with no early repayment charges.