Everybody around the globe can lend money to anybody else; this is the idea and vision of BitBond, “the first global marketplace lending platform for small business loans.” The Berlin Bitcoin startup attracted interested Investors again, this time from Germany and Turkey.
An investment of $1.2 million seems small if compared with Silicon Valley’s big investment rounds. But for an investment from German business angels to a German Bitcoin startup, $1.2 million is significant and might set a new record.
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BitBond, the startup that received funding, is like a global village. People from all over the world, from the USA, the Philippines, Greece, India and so on introduce themselves and ask for a loan. There is a merchant from the States who wants to increase his stock of fitness gadgets; a Colombian, who wants to set up a Bitcoin ATM, or an Indian, who needs funds to start as a forex trader. And much more.
At present, over 1,600 loans worth of $1.2 million have originated on Bitbond since its launch; 76,000 users from 120 countries registered with the service. It is not unusual on BitBond that the yearly interest rate is as high as 25 percent; repayment is monthly or in other intervals, for at least six weeks or maximum 60 months. The loans are paid only when a funding goal is reached.
With regard to the high interest rates, it should be evident that investment on BitBond is risky. Also and above all because it is about bitcoin; no bank and no other middle man, just an individual, and lenders from nowhere on the internet; nobody who guarantees that the other pays back the loan. BitBond does not give liability in case of a default, but it provides users seeking lending services with the option to weigh in with their internet accounts to collect trust, being it stores on Amazon, Ebay or MercadoLibre, or social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on.
It’s not the first time that founder and CEO Radoslav Albrecht has been able to win investors. The newest round, however, is not only the biggest by now with $1.2 million, but also introduces interesting personalities. The round was led by Şekip Can Gökalp, founder of Mobilike, the leading company for mobile advertisement in Turkey and Greece. Beside him, several other business angels took part, for example, Janis Zech and Andreas Bodczek, the founders of Fyber, a platform for advertising in apps and games. Finally, Alexander Graubner-Müller also participated, founder and CEO of Kreditech, a platform for private loans, which uses machine learning and data mining to create better scores and risk profiles. All in all, it seems to be a good match with BitBond.
Albrecht comments on the investment: “The additional resources will help us to continue realizing our mission which is to make lending and borrowing globally accessible.” The startup wants to use the funds to attract more users, mostly in markets which are underserved by traditional lenders. The next major milestone, BitBond wants to achieve is crossing $2 million in funded loan volume and reaching 2,000 funded loans.