Islamic P2P lender Qardus launches in UK for SMEs
Islamic peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Qardus has launched its services in the UK, Salam Gateway reports.
The new P2P lender offers unsecured loans of up to £100,000 for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are based on Islamic financing, where seller and buyer agree to the cost and mark-up of an asset.
Though sharia-compliant, the platform is open to both Muslim and non-Muslim investors based across the UK and Europe.
The fine print
Investments have to be a minimum of £100. Target returns of 10% per annum get paid out to these investors.
Qardus charges borrowers a fee between 2%-5% on the total financing raised through its platform.
To qualify for a loan, SMEs have to be at least three years old and have a turnover or assets worth £100,000 or more.
The platform is focusing on SMEs in “recession-proof” industries. These include food and beverages, food manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.
“We believe that our platform provides business financing to a currently underserved market of SMEs unable to obtain funding due to a lack of financing options that align with their ethics and values,” founder and CEO, Hassan Daher, told Peer2Peer Finance News.
The P2P lender is also looking to tap social impact investors, giving them the opportunity to make returns in an “ethical” manner.
Qardus intends to break even in the next eight months using its existing business model. The start-up is also in the early stages of preparing for a £1.5 million capital raise before the end of 2020.
The fintech is looking at potential future launches in emerging markets based in Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East.
As for new products, Qardus is currently working on credit risk profiling algorithms which would make predictions about the risks SMEs could be taking on. The algorithms use financial and alternative data.
The start-up is also hoping to launch a shariah-compliant digital bank “in the coming years”.