October Nederland, a financing platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe, celebrated its one-year anniversary on October 31, 2019. The firm’s application to operate as a Netherlands-based lending platform was approved last year by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets. October (formerly dba as Lendix) is based in France and currently operates in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.
October’s blog post says that new business owners often find it challenging to obtain financing for their ongoing growth and development. Obtaining loans can be difficult, so October aims to make this process easier. The company provides different financing options for institutional and retail clients.
October’s management notes that SMEs can obtain business loans of up to €3.5 million (appr. $3.85 million) in less than a week.
The October team states:
“We not only distinguish ourselves from banks, we are also different than other non-bank financiers. Our financing by institutional investors allows us to rapidly finance a company and facilitates certainty of funding to the entrepreneur. The co-financing by the crowd requires us to have simple and transparent communication. And that has a positive impact on our client interaction and our own culture.”
Following October’s fifth anniversary in France, the company’s entrance into the Dutch market seems to be the right move.
October has quickly become one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in the Netherlands, as it has provided loans to over 30 projects with a total funding amount of more than €15 million (appr. $16.5 million).
The company reveals that investments of €40.000 to nearly €1.5 million were “financed by thousands of retail lenders in combination with professional investors such as pension funds and insurers.”
The firm’s blog notes that crowdfunding in the Netherlands has become a popular way of financing new businesses. Unlike traditional financial institutions, October provides quick financing “without collateral or a personal guarantee,” the company explains.
October’s management acknowledges that crowdfunding in the Netherlands, and Europe in general, still faces certain challenges. Acceptance of new forms of financing among Europe’s SMEs is “still in development and for many people lending money to these companies is quite thrilling,” October’s blog states.
It adds that “crowdlending” is viewed as a legitimate alternative to further diversify the financing landscape. The European Commission (EC) is currently developing crowdlending regulations as it aims to professionalize the emerging sector.
The SME Financing Foundation was established in the Netherlands with the assistance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, in order to support crowdlending.
The nation’s parliament has reportedly asked the government to apply the “green investment scheme” to alternative financing methods.
October’s management says it will continue to provide transparency and maintain good relationships with it clients. The company says it will remain committed to helping SMEs grow through crowdlending.
The October Nederland team says:
“We put our money where our mouth is (or practice what we preach) with senior management investing in every loan on our platform.”
”Making mistakes is allowed, not learning from your mistakes is unacceptable: A prerequisite for the ultimate client focus is a safe environment in which people can make mistakes. This includes the courage to openly share these mistakes. To learn from them and thus improve the client experience.”
October’s management also encourages independent thinking. The company regularly obtains data and feedback from customers, and evaluates its performance in order to “improve the client experience and increase scalability.”