Crowdfunding has become a very important fundraising tool across various sectors including startups and non-profits. However, with the rising popularity of blockchain technology and the concept of ICOs, many new projects are increasingly adopting crowdsales and crowdlending as the preferred method of fundraising. But the rise in trend has also created uncertainties regarding the authenticity of the campaigns among the contributors, which has started to pose a huge challenge to genuine projects and businesses.
Now, Crowd-genie is a platform which is introducing a safe and secure business lending solution that makes it easier for small businesses to borrow funds in the time of need. The platform has various safety features in place to ensure reliability. In addition, it also holds a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which puts Crowd-genie in the league of very few platforms of such standing. We interacted with the CEO of Crowd-genie, Akshay Mehra to gain some insights into the industry sector and their operations.
NewsBTC: Why is licensing so important? How difficult is it to get in Singapore?
Akshay Mehra: Being registered and licensed are two different stories. As peer to peer lending platform involves enormous monetary transactions, a securities license is crucial for regulated lending activities. It’s never an easy task and the application process requires time and effort. In order to get the MAS “Dealing in Securities” license, it took us few months to go through our internal operation processes with the regulatory board, to convince them that our platform is credible.
In general, apart from the minimum capital required, we are required to have a solid compliance manual to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing activities, and protect the interest of borrowers and lenders by having an Escrow Agent who manages all funds. Lending activities also need to be recorded and submitted to MAS on a regular basis.
NewsBTC: Can you please explanation of how reputations coin work?
Akshay Mehra: The biggest concern that any lender has is the risk of default. Hence, the borrower should be rewarded if they have excellent past payment history, by lowering the interest rate. For each repayment, from the borrower to lenders, we will incentivise on-time payment by adding CGCOIN “Credits” to the borrowers’ wallets. This will be a spendable asset that will be tracked separately in the Digital Passport. The more CGCOIN Credits earned, the higher their reputation, and that in turn, will increase their chances of getting higher investments from more lenders and/or a lower interest rate. This will add an additional data point to our AI credit assessment system which will add greater depth to our credit assessment. Similarly, for the lenders, CGCOIN could be given to reward speed of deal closure or engagement in the Crowd Genie ecosystem.
NewsBTC: Why is there a need to create a token-based lending platform?
Akshay Mehra: Token-based lending was created in order to build a private capital hub for Asia Pacific using smart contracts to enable lending without borders more efficient, cheaper and safer. Our ultimate goal is to build an Asset Trading Exchange that will democratise trading and allow investment in infrastructure, stocks, cryptocurrency, and bonds across Asia. Although our existing P2P digital loan business is incredibly innovative in the Singapore financial sector, it would have been impossible to scale and offer Asia-wide asset trading before blockchain technology was introduced. To build and scale an asset exchange with pre-blockchain technologies would be prohibitively expensive, and potentially unfeasible due to issues of transparency and trust.
NewsBTC: How will the funds raised be utilized?
Akshay Mehra: In order to build towards our vision of becoming the first Asia wide Asset Exchange on Blockchain, we need funds to expand our current loan book to make it more established. Secondly, we need funds for regional expansion and we foresee that there will be costs incurred for the relevant licenses in other countries. Thirdly, we need to recruit more experts to build up the entire ecosystem, a solid and well supported one.
NewsBTC: Who are your team members?
Akshay Mehra: Our team consists of experts covering the aspects of payment security, technology, debt capital, cryptocurrency, and business development. Me myself was the board advisor at Anchanto e-commerce, brand management head at P&G and Principal Consultant at Innosight before founding Crowd Genie. Our co-founder, Mr. Bikash has more than 20 years of retail banking experience with Standard Chartered and he was the former COO of Standard Chartered Korea.
NewsBTC: Anything you would like our readers to know?
Akshay Mehra: Yes, they can keep an eye out on the development of the platform. We will be working according to the Roadmap / Expansion plan as shown below.
More information about Crowd-genie and its ICO is available at – https://www.crowd-genie.com