FundingPartner needed a partner that could not only seamlessly onboard investors and borrowers to their platform, but one that could also carry out the necessary anti-money laundering checks and ensure financial security for their clients. When FundingPartner were set to expand beyond Norway, they also needed a full-service provider to help them easily cross borders. Here’s how Signicat met the challenge.
# The challenge
For start-ups and small businesses, securing funding can often be one of the largest challenges. Many banks don’t want to take the risk to lend to those starting out with little or no equity behind them. This is where FundingPartner comes in. FundingPartner mediates loans between private investors and small and medium-sized companies through its digital lending platform. This process is referred to as crowdlending. Unlike a bank, where there is just one lender, crowdlending through FundingPartner means that there can be as many as 200-300 investors involved in any given business loan.
For FundingPartner’s business model to work, they were required to onboard a high volume of potential investors. With the ability for someone to invest as little as 1000 NOK, digital automation was a necessary step. Handling over 9000 investors (and growing) didn’t just require the ability to create an account and log in.
To onboarding investors, this means a seamless signing up process, conducting background checking and connecting clients with each other. As with any company dealing with money, ensuring both their investors and borrowers are legally sound, and certifying that they do not launder money or partake in any illegal financial activities is essential. Geir Atle Bore, CEO of FundingPartner, had a clear goal and that was “for the entire process to be 100% automated”. So how did they prevent what could have been a painstaking and manual onboarding process?
# The solution
FundingPartner uses Signicat to verify the identification of those onboarding to their platform, i.e. confirming that the person really is who they say they are. In addition, they use Signicat’s Sign Portal to digitally sign agreements or documentation, that would alternatively have had to be signed in person, by hand. With these smooth integrations into FundingPartner’s crowdlending platform, they can ensure their business is financially sound.
# The results
Since collaborating with Signicat, Geir Atle explains "while there can still be time constraints, we would not be able to do what we do today without this digital onboarding”. FundingPartner now find themselves in a position where they have more investors than companies that want to borrow money. "We have so many investors today just waiting to invest in a loan project, but they need borrowers to make that happen”. They hoped to solve this by expanding their business cross-border into Sweden and Denmark. Moving a SaaS platform into new countries raised a whole new set of challenges. “The international road can be a bit bumpy".
Even though Sweden and Denmark are similar in language and culture to Norway, there was so much bureaucracy that they had to overcome. This included unfamiliar legalities, rules and codes, technical challenges, and paperwork. Overcoming these issues became time consuming and, in the end, resulted in a loss of income. Using Signicat, a full-service provider, meant that FundingPartner could navigate dealing with the digital identity requirements for each country.
"Signicat solved the complexities around identification and digital signatures for us, both technically and legally. So, if you are a start-up or scale-up company and have ambitious plans on expanding into new countries, it would be smart to use Signicat’s solutions from day one."