Experience is the best teacher, mostly. In the case of Adrian Gunadi, co-founder of Indonesia-based startup Investree, experience was the guiding force to venture into the P2P lending space to accelerate credit accessibility and financial inclusion in Indonesia. A country where banks are not largely able to serve SMEs and small consumers.
Says Adrian, whose last role was as MD of Indonesia’s largest Islamic Bank Muamalat, “There is a $70 Bn credit gap waiting to be filled in Indonesia.” Adrian had managed SMEs, consumers, liabilities and e-banking across 400 branches in his last role, thought it was the perfect opportunity to fill this gap. He, along with his three investment banker friends Aida Sutanto, Amir Amiruddin, and Dickie Widjaja, with an average banking experience of 20 years, founded their new fintech venture called Investree.
Thus, in 2015, they started Investree, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending online marketplace that connects people who want to invest money with people who want to borrow money. As P2P lending was literally unknown in Indonesia, they benchmarked it to other countries such as the US and China. After consulting with lawyers, they got a clear idea of the P2P lending model, and then soft launched it in October 2015. It took them six months to develop the PoC (Proof of Concept). In May 2016, Investree finally commenced operations with a six-person team.
Investree: Banking On Invoice Financing For A 0% Default Rate
Investree connects lenders with borrowers – mostly focussing on medium-sized or micro-sized SMEs who are slightly tech-savvy. Its current growth drivers have been B2B partnerships through the supply chain, invoice financing for SMEs, and employee loan financing for corporates. In fact, invoice financing is its core feature which has resulted in a 0% default rate till now for the startup. So, unlike banks which are still collateral-based lending platforms, Investree relies on invoices to judge the creditworthiness of borrowers.