p2p lending

on the rebuildingsociety.com blog

13th Mar, 2019

An expansive approach from Afterthought

It’s always interesting to connect with business people with an eye for opportunity. A few words with Doug from Afterthought…

Hi Doug, how would you describe your approach to business?

My background is primarily IT consulting. I spent about 18 years working in the US with small stints in Hong Kong. My jobs allowed me to travel extensively and I think that helped with some of the input on our gin and coffee flavours and designs. I’m fairly hands-on, making sure that standards and values are followed and have built a great team of around 35 people across all of the businesses that continue to make Afterthought a success.

You seem to have quite a range of businesses, from technology consultancy to coffee shops… what’s the thinking behind this?

We started out as and IT consulting firm and decided to diversify into other businesses, we spotted a coffee shop for sale and it’s been expanding ever since!

The Gin Story … how did that begin?

As for the gin, I started drinking it about 7 years ago and settled on Bombay Sapphire and orange juice. About 2 years ago I toured their distillery and thought to myself I can make this and add some flair to it.

What’s the market like for Gin these days? Seems to me it’s quite experimental, I’ve seen Sheffield Gin in a local wine bar. Are you looking to provide direct to drinkers, or to bars as well?

We are aiming for about 80% export markets as there are already quite a few local gins in the UK. So far we have created and released 4 gins including American, European and London dry gins. 

Do you need a license to make Gin? What’s the score with the law?

So to get a license to make gin you have to have already made gin, kind of a catch 22.  Luckily for us we worked with a distillery in Devon to create our recipes and first batches in order to get our own licenses which were recently granted.

What other horizontals are you exploring for the future?

We are moving our smallest coffee shop site to a much larger building that will also house the front of our gin distillery, this allows us to host a gin retail section, a gin school and evening events. Next year we are adding a much larger European style cafe which will incorporate our gin, coffee and soon to be added pizza business in a new Burgess Hill revitalization project.

Thank you Doug, all the very best, a toast to your ongoing success.

View the borrowing application here.


01st Mar, 2019

Athena Catering Solution provided by Le Bureau Limited.

In industrial environment such as hospital and prisons, prisoners and patients need to be provided with nutritional meals. Prisoners need to be provided with five main options and sides and sweet options. Patients also need to be offered nutritional meal options.

Prior to presenting menu options to prisoners and patients, Athena our catering solution provides dietitians and catering staff with the ability to build model recipes and menus. Model recipes are defined in terms of their caloric, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, allergens, consumer acceptance, etc.  There are some forty elements that need to be considered in the analysis, including special menus to meet dietary conditions, vegetarians, vegans, allergen free, etc. 

Athena uniquely provides the facility to measure recipes and menus at the planning, preparation and serving stages.  

The issue that Athena addresses is that as ingredient suppliers and ingredients change, cooking methods change in recipes, athena provides an accurate measure as to how production recipes and menus meet model recipes. Hence alerting staff if the recipe and menus do not meet standards.

Athena can also determine at production level which recipe from a range of recipes meets the model recipes.  

Menus are presented to patients and prisoners with complete nutritional and allergen details so informed decisions can be met.

Meals in prisons are normally selected by prisoners two weeks in advance providing time for ordering and preparation. In a hospital same day selection, preparation and service occurs.

Athena uniquely provides several options for obtaining meal selections from prisoners and patients: paper and scan menus, tablet computers, smart phones (Bring Your Own Device), computers on wards.

Once the menu numbers have been collated:  meals are prepared, purchasing takes place, inventory pick and pack lists prepared, meal severed, receipting good in, etc. 

Athena provides a consolidated system that meets the needs of the whole catering process. From inventory control, recipe maintenance, menu planning, meals selection, meal preparation, serving meals, health and safety, cost control and purchasing. Athena provides a ful range of management reports and financial operational reports to monitor the catering operation.

The real beauty of the system is that it can be implemented in Schools, Colleges, Hospitals, Care Homes, Prisons, etc. it is a system which is highly functional, but can be adapted to any environment. The system architecture has been designed to meet individual client’s needs.  

The solution provided by Athena can also be extended to schools and colleges, home cares and chains of restaurants. Visit our lending application here:


28th Jan, 2019

Dashboard Changes – Lender Performance Charts

We’re making changes to the look and feel of the website. One of the areas that you’ve told us you want to see change, is the lender dashboard. You’ve told us that you would like a more visual representation of your investments and use of the platform. We’ve been listening and have started implementing some changes.

You may have noticed the recent addition of the ‘Net Worth’ Chart on your lender dashboard. This helps you quickly interpret your performance throughout your time on rebuildingsociety.com. Let’s review the new chart and see what it shows us…

(more…)


10th Dec, 2018

Lender’s Review of rebuildingsociety.com

Why Invest in Peer to Peer Lending?

Brian has chosen peer to peer lending as part of his investment portfolio as he enjoys the fact that crowdfunding and P2P lending directly connects lenders with the funders, cutting out the middleman.

Brian enjoys engaging with the business owners and seeing how he can have a direct impact on the success and growth of many small businesses.

Why rebuildingsociety.com?

Brian says that he enjoys lending via rebuildingsociety because of the platform’s ethos and dedication to supporting local businesses and developing local economies particularly outside of London, an ethos which he shares and which he has followed in his own business ventures.

Rebuildingsociety.com was founded with the intention of opening finance to businesses that had been excluded from traditional means of finance and to offer more than just a financial transaction, by ensuring that through the finance the business was also able to gain access to a wide range of lenders who are able to advise and support the business in the long term.

The ability for lenders to pick and choose their investments and continue to engage with the borrowers is a key reason Brian has continued to lend via rebuildingsociety.com, as opposed to other platforms that have become more ‘opaque’ in the way lenders invest.

As well as his rate of return, Brian also cites the openness and accessibility of the rebuildingsociety.com team as a factor for his continued investment via rebuildingsociety.com.

How does it compare to other platforms?

Investing across a number of crowdfunding and Peer-to-peer lending platforms, Brian, says as a ‘non-techie’ he has found the platform easy to use and understand.

He has found the blogs and information available to lenders on rebuildingsociety.com ‘excellent’ and very useful in helping him to understand how to use the platform, learn more about the businesses and get tips on lending in general.

Much of the information Brian refers to is available in our Lender Library.

Advice to new lenders?

Having been an active lender for over 4 years on rebuildingsociety.com. Brian says lenders should:

Read and Review

Brian says lenders should always make sure that they read up and carefully look into the platform that they are lending through.

Look at the trading history of the platform, how long have they been around, what is their net return, what is the ethos of the platform and what is the investment structure or the deals on the platform.

Knowing more about the platform and ensuring that you understand how it works is fundamental to ensuring the long-term success of your investments via P2P.

Do Your research

When investing manually, Brian says it’s crucial that lenders do the research on the businesses they are thinking of investing in. Reviewing the information provided by the platform as well as publicly available information is important to make good lending decisions.

Start small – Diversify

Brian says that lenders that are new to any platform should ‘start small’ and look to build a well-diversified portfolio, by lending across a range of sectors, regions and business types. As a lender gets more comfortable with the lending process and the platform then they can consider lending larger amounts according to the experience they have gained.
If in doubt ask

This applies to both asking questions of the borrowers as well as the platform’s team. On rebuildingsociety.com lenders are given the opportunity to directly ask questions of the borrower through the Discussion forums of each loan. This allows lenders to ensure they understand who and what they are lending for and allows them also to build a rapport with the borrower.

Brian also says that lenders should ask not to be shy to engage with the rebuildingsociety.com team, who he has found ‘very helpful and accessible’ and ‘has found the guidance that they give very easy to understand’.

 

rebuildingsociety.com is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and has been operating as a peer-to-peer lending platform for over six years, making it one of the longest standing P2P platforms in the UK. rebuildingsociety.com prides itself on the level of transparency offered to lenders and the wealth of information and educational material available to assist lenders and borrowers throughout their engagement with the platform. 

Transparency helps lenders assess the risk and make better-informed decisions if you would like to find out more about the risks involved in lending on our platform, visit our risks page.


04th Dec, 2018

Christmas Shopping for the Crowd

If you didn’t get the chance to make the most of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, don’t worry there’s still 21 days to Christmas, plenty of time to get those gifts ticked off the list. If you don’t have a list and are still looking around for ideas, maybe we can help!

Here are a few of the business our lenders have supported recently, who might be able to help you finish off your Christmas shopping and you can do it all from the comfort of your couch whilst sipping your festive tipple of choice!

OPWG – Board and Card Games and Collectibles

OPWG’s online store, The Outpost, stocks a huge variety of board games, miniature figurines, card games and more. These include popular brands and franchises such as Warhammer, Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Dr Who and Superman and Batman collectibles!

If you know someone that would love something from this store, but you’re not sure about what to buy them, you can also purchase gift vouchers so that they can choose for themselves!

For those super fans that you know, we’re sure that they’d love to get their hands on some collectibles and games as soon as they’re released, you can make their Christmas by ordering through the Outposts pre-orders section!

The Outpost are offering FREE delivery on all orders over £75! With such a great range of products and services, you’re bound to find something here for someone on your list, even if it’s just a stocking filler!

 

Candy Hero – Sweets and Confectionery

 

 

Leave the diet until January, December is for eating enjoying and over indulging on all those things you love best. If sweets are your thing or you know someone that has a insatiable sweet tooth (we all know someone), then get your order in now on Candy Hero.

Candy hero stock a huge range of sweets form around the world, especially from places where e-numbers are not a worry! Aside form their huge range of ‘all year round sweets’, they also sell a variety of special Christmas Candy and gift packs!

Candy Hero offer free delivery on all orders over £35.00 and promise that if ordered by 2pm they’ll ship it that day and to anywhere in the world! – Perfect for those relatives abroad!

Go on and treat yourself or someone you know, or at the very least add some candy canes to your tree this year!

 

Invasion – City Getaways and Flights

 

Some people just love the cold and frosty days of December, apparently in December the cold weather is ‘Christmassy’! Cold ‘Christmassy’ December days are one thing, though we’re not sure we often hear people saying they love the long, cold and dark January and February days that stand between us and Spring!

If you’re someone who loves to travel, could do with some sun, or just know someone that would love an adventure, why not browse the range of trips offered by Invasion?

Advertising getaways to Bali, The Philippines, the Maldives, South Africa and Thailand just to name a few (warm places), it’s hard not to be tempted!

 

SLK Retail (UK Gardens) – Garden and Outdoor Accessories and Decorations  

 

We all know those people that come the 6th November are far too eager to get their Christmas decorations and trees out. If you, like many of us in the office haven’t yet got around to getting your Christmas decorations sorted, then have a look at the great range of Christmas indoor and outdoor decorations from SLK Retail!

If you’re one of those that does love to go all out and have been decorating since November, why stop now? Have you got an 8FT Inflatable Santa with LED lights in your garden? – No?  Well then, don’t be out done! – Get yours now!!

If you really don’t need any more decorations, then maybe start making some purchases for BBQ season, such as new outdoor furniture or just browse the ‘Gifts for him and Her’ section for some great ideas!

 

rebuildingsociety.com are proud to have a community of lenders that genuinely care about supporting the businesses that they lend to. Being part of the rebuildingsociety.com community is about more than just finance, it’s about supporting British businesses, developing local economies and generally making a difference!

Merry Christmas! 


26th Nov, 2018

Advice to Borrowers – From a Lender

Tips for Raising P2P Finance

Brian Johnson has been a regular lender on rebuildingsociety.com since 2014, supporting many UK SMEs in their growth aspirations along the way. Brian also has many years’ experience of managing and running his own businesses, so understands the difficulties businesses encounter in raising finance and has seen how businesses can use P2P finance to their advantage and how rebuildingsociety.com facilitates more than just a business loan.

We met up with Brian to find out what tips he would give businesses who are looking to get a business loan through rebuildingsociety.com.
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29th Oct, 2018

Changes to Our Auto Bidding Tool – BidPal

We’re excited to announce the most recent changes to our auto bidding tool, BidPal.For years lenders have used BidPal to help them manage their Rebs lending portfolio, helping them invest in a wide range of loans whilst saving them valuable time, and now we’ve improved it to make managing your lending account even easier and to allow you to make more tailored auto lending decisions.

What is BidPal?

BidPal is our automated lending tool, that auto applies bids on behalf of lenders as and when a new loan is listed that meets their pre-set lending criteria. This means lenders that have set up BidPal do not need to log in each time a new loan is listed to make a bid.

What’s New?

 

 

Inclusion and Exclusion Options

Previously the preferences available for lenders to set were limited to industry sector and risk rating. We’ve now extended the options available to lenders, allowing you to make more defined bidding preferences to suit your lending appetite.

You will now be able to choose to include or exclude certain regions that you do or do not want to lend to.

Bid or Buy

The new BidPal will also include an option to auto-buy loans on the Secondary Marketplace as well as bid on the Primary Marketplace. Lenders may choose to set one or the other or both auto-bidding options.

Where a lender chooses to buy micro loans from the Secondary Marketplace, they will be buying micro loans that other lenders are selling on. These are loans that have already been funded via the Primary Marketplace. When loan parts become available that match your buying preferences and where you have sufficient Available Balance, these micro loans will be automatically bought and added to your loan portfolio.

We’ve also introduced new rules that  allows users more flexibility over their BidPal criteria. Over time, we hope to further expand on the data options that a lender can set for their lending rules.

Currently lenders can configure the settings such as:

  • Whether you want to exclude / include loans where the loan is behind on repayments
  • Targeting the purchase of micro loans in a specific business
  • Whether you want to exclude / include loans being sold at certain premiums / discounts by other lenders
  • Choosing the risk ratings you want to buy or avoid.

The buy logic is triggered when a user sells their microloan(s), there is now a ‘clearing process’ to check if the microloan meets the buy requirements of another user and where it does, the purchase will occur instantly. This feature allows lenders to grow a diversified portfolio quickly while simultaneously bringing an increase in liquidity to the platform. When selling microloans, you may notice a message “1 of 1 microloans sold.” When you see this, another lender’s BidPal Buy function has purchased your microloan automatically.

 

 

What BidPal Does Not Do…

BidPal does not guarantee that all your funds will always be lent out, that you will never encounter a default or that your account will deliver a set interest rate.

Available funds are only lent out to a pre-set proportion of your lending portfolio, you can alter all this in the settings.

If your funds are auto bid on a loan, there is no guarantee that you will not be outbid, if you are outbid you will be alerted (according to your notification settings), and will be able to login and rebid should you choose.

Lending to businesses carries the risk of default. If a business fails to repay a loan you could lose all or part of your capital. Therefore you should carefully consider how best to mitigate these risks, consider perhaps divesting via the secondary market or reviewing the performance of the various loan risk ratings and reviewing your Bidpal settings regularly.

Whilst BidPal will auto bid at the highest rate available on a loan, it does not guarantee a set return on any single loan or on your portfolio.

Managing your Lending Portfolio

As a lender, lending to businesses, you should be aware of the risks involved in lending. Understanding the risks is the first step to building a strong loan investment portfolio through careful management.

Whilst BidPal reduces the need to log in as regularly to ensure that your funds are working for you, lenders should still ensure that they are monitoring their lending account to ensure that it is performing to their expectations and to regularly review their investment strategy depending on the performance of their investments.

Find out more about managing your lending portfolio on our platform by reading our helpful articles in the Lender Library.
For more information on BidPal please look at our FAQs or email support@rebuildingsociety.com.

15th Oct, 2018

Investing money selectively is one of the best ways to invest

Many people don’t trust themselves to invest (or lend) so they leave it to others. Independent Financial Advisers can be helpful with advising on a range of customers about their options, relevant to their circumstances.

We believe, that with little study and research, anyone can learn the basic investment skills, to understand risk and reward. One of the things our lenders love is receiving interest payments each month. Many investments don’t pay interest monthly, but the borrowers using our platform repay their loan on a Direct Debit. So as you collect this repayment onto your online balance, you can re-lend them to other businesses. This is known as compounding. (Where you can earn interest on previous interest earnings).

Many other platforms will encourage you to be passive about investing, offering little information about the businesses. They sell their service on ease, but they also tend to pay out less. By making a little effort, you can earn considerably more. We’ll show you how, but before we do, have a look at the evidence.

Here is a histogram of Net Returns for lenders as at October 12th 2018. (a live version is on our stats page, under the Net Returns tab)

Net Returns histogram for rebuildingsociety.com

From this chart, you can see the green line peaks from the 3-4% segment and continues to be high until the 9-10% segment. This shows how most lenders are earning between 3% and 10%, but notice how 85 lenders are earning over 20% (on the far right). This article explains how they do it, so you can learn from their investment strategies.

Invest your money the savvy way

Read our 10 tips on peer to peer lending – This article covers some key guidance on strategies that have proven to work.

Understanding how your portfolio matures is important. With any platform, there’s a honeymoon period for newbies, but there’s also a hard phase around year’s 2-4 where you have sustained your first defaults but not had any recoveries. In this article, Kylie writes about various phases in the journey to mature investing. It’s a good read.

Many happy returns

When you see a business with a unique idea or product, take a minute to consider who their target customers are. If you know anyone suitable, why not buy them a gift or simply make a referral. Word of mouth marketing is so powerful. Sometimes a new customer can make the difference to a business surviving. This is especially true of seasonal businesses, where they may be vulnerable out of season. Like the facebook page, follow them on Twitter, share the videos, be an ambassador for your borrowers, they will love you for it.

Getting good at investing is addictive

Did you know one of our top lenders retired early to invest full time on our platform? Gross earnings are shown below, (from a peak capital employed of: £624,000). Being smart about peer-to-business lending allowed them to earn more in interest than most people’s salary!

  • 2013 – (the first year was a part-year) – £23,945.89
  • 2014 – £99,259.85
  • 2015 – £84,114.08
  • 2016 – £106,923.64
  • 2017 – £119,534.66
  • 2018 – £75,884.59 (part year until the 12th October)

It has not all been rosy, over the six years this lender has also had a £105,562.93 loss from bad and doubtful debt. So their profit is £509,662.71 – £105,562.93 = £404,099.78 before fees and taxes.

This lender has an average weighted Net Return of 12.74%, by being diligent about lending decisions, they can support a great standard of living from a few hours work each day.

Notice also how 33 lenders (on the far left) have a Net Return of < -20%. It is possible to lose money if you are not careful. Investing for higher returns carries some risks. For example, lending to inexperienced business people, a business you don’t understand, offering little security on the loan, is not a good idea. Notice that the red line (lenders who invest over £5,000) and the blue line (lenders with more than 10 loans).

Understand the Risks

The above figures are taken from actual lenders from rebuildingsociety.com during various stages of their investment history with the platform. Remember that past returns are not indicative of future returns and your own experience may vary.

If you are unfamiliar with the risks of peer-to-peer lending, read more here.

Overall, our past performance has been good for most lenders, but that could change. For example in an economic downturn, not all businesses will survive.

The best way to learn is by doing, open an account today to get started, you can try lending from as little as £10 on each loan.

To learn more about lending visit our Lender Library.


16th Aug, 2018

Peer-to-business Lending – It’s a Journey Not a Destination

If you’re new to peer -to-business lending you might be wondering what you’re in for, if you’re a seasoned P2B lender, you may by now understand the various processes and cycles involved in lending to businesses.

As a platform we’ve been facilitating lending to UK SMEs for over 6 years and have noticed certain trends in lender and borrower activity. We thought it might be useful to give you an insight into what you might expect as a lender. (more…)


30th Oct, 2017

Fin vs. Tech

Is it the “fin” or the “tech” that is the key to developing the future of online lending?

“FinTech” is one of the biggest buzz words in finance and technology. Online lending platforms are just one of the many different types of companies at the forefront driving the industry. Given the buzz, it’s not surprising that every company with any finance-related technology is attempting to rebrand themselves as a FinTech company, trying to enjoy some of the limelight and investment on offer. With so many companies trying to dress themselves up as FinTech companies, it is difficult to truly understand or identify what a FinTech company really is, and often difficult to distinguish between true FinTech companies, financial services companies that have technology, and technology companies that are dipping their toes into financial services. We wonder: will it be the “fin” or the “tech” that really has the biggest impact on the development of the industry, specifically within the world of online lending?

Open-source

The financial services industry, in the traditional sense, is an industry that has long been able to rest on its laurels. In doing so, they have neglected to truly take into account the changing needs and habits of their consumers. This has created an opportunity for companies that have dared to think differently; leading to the creation of P2P lending, crowdfunding and money transfer platforms. The ability of these companies to understand consumer needs and meet them, using new technology, has seen many of them grow very quickly. Perhaps more importantly, it has also seen consumers think differently about how they manage their finances.

Whilst the creative technological solutions have been key to the creation and initial growth of the FinTech industry, the most significant development of this revolution has been the change in the mindset of consumers, spurred by the advances brought about by technology. Now more than ever, people are openly engaging with one another about the management of their finances; whether it be about who they have a mortgage with, the best and easiest ways of transferring funds to a different currency, or how to make the most out of one’s savings. Not only are consumers now engaging with one another; they are also more actively engaging with their financial services providers. Even more importantly, they are demanding better services and products from them. Consumers are getting excited about finance.

Traditional finance companies may continue to develop new financial products, and deliver and enhance them through new technologies, but if they fail to consider the new engagement of their consumers, these products are unlikely to be successful.

For example, online lending has become a success story, not because of the advent of a new financial product, but rather through making an old, in-demand financial services product more accessible to consumers. Of course, these companies would not long survive if the “fin” part of the product was neglected. If a company failed to observe good credit risk decisioning processes and poor lending practices, for example, these products – and with it the companies – would fail.

One could argue that whilst “tech” may be driving the FinTech industry, it could not operate without experience of the “fin.” It is likely that the biggest driver of the future of FinTech, specifically within the online lending market, will be, for the first time, the consumer, as they have become both the lenders and the borrowers.

Many online lending platforms may have already come and gone, but online lending is still arguably in its infancy. The products on offer and the types of loans available through these platforms still very closely resemble the more traditional loan types, with the online accessibility and speed of access being the main differentiators. Only over the last two years has the UK seen newer products such as the Innovative Finance ISA come to the market; yet even these mirror older financial concepts.

The fact that consumers hold the power to more significantly influence the financial products available to them, along with the ever-evolving way in which they are delivered, will surely lead to an extremely interesting period of financial services development. Changes in dynamic will lead to other changes, which will not only pose new challenges for FinTech companies and the financial sector as a whole, but will also likely raise some very interesting questions and challenges for the regulators of these markets around the world.


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