SME credit platform October (formerly Lendix) has been officially launched in the Netherlands since today. The originally French platform is now also available to Dutch entrepreneurs and investors after France, Spain and Italy. Since 2014, October has already provided more than €240 millions in loans to more than 500 different SMEs. This makes the fintech the largest and fastest growing platform for SME financing in continental Europe.
On the , SMs can apply for a loan from €30,000 to a maximum of €3,500,000, with a term of three months to seven years. October enables SMEs to borrow money directly from both private (crowdlending) and institutional investors in a simple and quick way, without the intervention of a bank and without a personal guarantee. “In recent years, October has successfully helped hundreds of SMEs in France, Spain and Italy to obtain growth finance. We are now using the knowledge gained to help Dutch entrepreneurs and their organisations grow,” says Luuc Mannaerts, CEO of October Netherlands.
Security of financing
Behind the platform is a unique mix of private and institutional investors. The institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund, BPI FRANCE, CNP Assurances and Groupama are gathered in a fund of €200 millions and have given October the mandate to invest from this fund in projects on the platform. Of all projects that go ‘live’ on the platform, institutional investors finance at least 51 percent of the total financing amount. After that, private investors (the crowd) can finance the remaining 49 percent for a number of days. If necessary, the financing is completed from the fund, in which the senior management of October also participates. “This unique combination of the institutional investor and the crowd offers SMEs a stable source of finance with certainty of financing,” says Olivier Goy, founder and CEO of October. “In addition, private investors will have the opportunity, under the same conditions as institutional investors, to lend money directly to Dutch and European SMEs”, says Olivier Goy, founder and CEO of October.
Fast and transparent
October focuses on SMEs with a good track record and sufficient cash flow to repay the loan. To meet this requirement, a company must be profitable and have an annual turnover of at least €250,000. SME organisations that apply for a loan on the platform receive certainty within two days whether or not the financing will be given – and under what conditions. After a positive outcome, the amount is credited to the entrepreneur’s account within seven days.
Luuc Mannaerts: “A common complaint from SMEs is that it takes a lot of time and energy to arrange financing, especially when it comes to intangible assets. In October we offer ‘hassle-free financing’ for the important moments in the life phase of a company, such as an expansion of the team, investments, digitisation and innovation. Transparency in the application process and the financing conditions are of paramount importance to us”.