Former NASA engineer Nadeem Siam has taken the UK’s fintech market to new heights, with the stratospheric growth of his start-up Fund Ourselves.
Siam, originally from Egypt, spent several years studying and living in the UK but was always fascinated by the way Britons approach credit and consumer finance.
For years, the short-term lending market had been dominated by the likes of Wonga and QuickQuid, but Siam acknowledged that for a large percentage, these products ‘caused more harm than good.”
Following years of research and development, Siam launched Welendus which was later re-branded to what we know today as Fund Ourselves.
Fund Ourselves is a peer-to-peer platform, acting as a middle ground for both people looking for affordable short-term loans and also casual investors who are looking to get a good return on investment.
“The premise behind Fund Ourselves is to be as low-cost and flexible for borrowers as possible, with no penalising structure,” explains Siam.
“It is not enough just to offer loans, because the costs of living in the UK are constantly increasing, so inevitably some people are going to struggle to repay. But if we can offer a loan and help people financially to get back on their feet, this is a win-win for everybody.”
“Borrowers cannot get a loan without passing fraud, credit, and affordability checks. But what makes us different, other than offering lower rates than other high-cost lenders, is that customers can notify us and switch to a longer plan without any additional fees or charges.
“So if a customer borrows for 4 months and is struggling to clear the balance, they can extend for up to 12 months owing just the same amount – making the payment more manageable, without leaving a black mark against the borrower’s credit rating.”
For those looking to invest on the other side of the peer-to-peer platform, you can start from as little as £100 and earn 5% to 15% per annum by lending money to other borrowers on the platform. The more risk you are willing to lend to, the more you can earn. Simple.
The people you lend money to are anonymous and diversified across multiple people, to help spread and manage the risk of your investment.
The FCSC does not cover your investment for any losses, but Fund Ourselves offer their own provision fund which puts money aside for loan defaults and they have a local customer service team to help recover any losses.
For more information, visit fundourselves.com