wiseAlpha, an online platform that allows people to invest in secured corporate loans of blue-chip British brand name companies such as Virgin Media, RAC, United Biscuits and Eddie Stobart, aims to give people the opportunity to earn a higher rate of interest and diversify their portfolio. With a team hailing from Deutsche Bank, TSB and Sainsbury’s bank, wiseAlpha has already carried out its first successful transactions.
The fintech company is reaping the benefits of partnering with Crowdcube, having raised 120% of its initial £350,000 goal with 12 days remaining on the campaign. To date, over £421,229 has been raised by over 194 investors for 7.14% equity; £100,000 was the largest investment.
wiseAlpha is part of the technology and ‘DIY lending’ movement that is disrupting traditional financial markets by moving markets online and facilitating smaller investments thereby democratizing financial markets.
“The secured corporate loan market has been slow to adapt to changes in financial technology and has limited investors of all sizes accessing what we believe is an attractive asset class. WiseAlpha is aiming to change that and bring a wider investment audience to the market,” wiseAlpha CEO Rezaah Ahmad commented via email. “While Fintech has disrupted a number of niches in the individual and small business end of the lending market, wiseAlpha is now leading the charge in bringing online lending to the corporate banking market. We are aiming in the future to create a global exchange for loans and all forms of illiquid corporate credit.”
After studying Economics at the University of Cambridge and Management at the Judge Institute, University of Cambridge, Ahmad segued into the M&A and Leveraged Finance teams at Deutsche Bank, during which he helped structure and execute numerous multi-billion debt financing and advisory transactions. He worked at a fund investing in senior secured loans, high yield bonds, credit derivatives, equity and distressed debt before launching wiseAlpha in March 2014.
Why did wiseAlpha opt for crowdfunding?
“We believe that crowdfunding is one of most important financial innovations of recent years and as a company aiming to innovate the large global corporate lending markets in a similar fashion we want to build a community of investors who are interested in helping and being part of our journey as we aim to democratize the financial markets,” explained Ahmad.
Crowdfunds will be used by wiseAlpha to launch a marketing campaign including underground and taxi advertising, digital and print, targeting the growing multi £bn market. wiseAlpha also plans to add additional staff members to our team, develop its exclusive wiseAlpha member card (prepaid debit card) and enhancing the functionality, execution and product range. Looking at the larger picture, Ahmad also anticipated wiseAlpha’s growth:
“Given we have created the only marketplace focused on lending investments to large, established brand name companies in the UK we expect to grow at a faster rate than some of the early pioneers of marketplace lending such as Zopa and Funding Circle.”
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