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LTP: Xavier, Frederic, please tell us about yourself.
Xavier Laoureux: I have a law degree, and I quickly made a reorientation towards digital marketing. I have been working for over 10 years for TBWA, one of the biggest advertising agencies in Belgium.
Frederic Dujeux: I have a master’s degree in business engineering. I am the former CTO of Ogone (product & technology roles), which is now part of Ingenico ePayments. I have 15 years of experience in e-payments and exposure to financial services.
LTP: Give us a paragraph pitch for your company, please.
Xavier Laoureux: mozzeno.com is the first Belgian digital platform to enable private individuals to participate indirectly in the funding of loans to other private individuals. Besides incumbent lenders, our collaborative platform offers borrowers a strong alternative by focusing on competitive rates and optimized customer experience (full digital process). For investors, we bring a new asset class to invest in, which provides interesting returns for a controlled risk.
Behind mozzeno.com is a a digital services company developing and operating digital solutions for financial players. The mozzeno platform was built according to an API-first pattern and is made of different modules, all of which are available in SaaS (Software as a service) model.
LTP: In a sentence or two, what problems are you solving today?
Xavier Laoureux: For borrowers, we are making the lending process as easy and quick as possible, taking out all the pains through digital technology. Also, thanks to our big data scoring, we aim to provide credit to population segments with potentials. That is, people who have no access to credit today due to obsolete traditional credit assessment. Typically, our aim is to help younger borrowers with a limited credit history.
For investors, we bring return with controlled risk. Today, interest rates are at very low level. Investors are desperately looking for alternatives. At the same time, they are not always eager to bet on the stock markets.
LTP: Who are you selling to?
- Borrowers: We are selling to borrowers who are sensitive to the sharing economy (paying interests on their loans to other individuals rather than to impersonal banks). In the coming months, thanks to our big data scoring, we will also be more focused on young borrowers.
- Investors: First, we are focusing on people aged 40+ years who have saved some money, who are self-directed, and who are digitally minded and early adopters. The more we develop our track record, the broader we extend our target group towards more risk averse profiles.
LTP: How does mozzeno differentiate itself from competitors?
- Competitive rates: Such rates can become even more attractive through the incentive for perfect repayment. A part of the origination fees of the loan is paid back at the end of the agreed period if the borrower has repaid in a timely manner over the course of his loan.
- Sharing economy: Interests are paid to other individuals rather than to impersonal banks.
- Digital: Full digital process. The whole application and fulfilment process can be done online, including the digital signature of contractual documents.
- Big data scoring: We can do this by using new data points to assess the potential of borrowers who have little or no access to credit today.
- Investors can expect higher returns compared to the returns of deposits or saving accounts in Belgium (currently close to 0%).
- mozzeno performs a strict selection of borrowers and eases the diversification of investor’s portfolios.
- Investors can benefit from a “PROTECT guarantee,” covering between 60% and 100% of the outstanding loan amount and up to 3 unpaid instalments, in case of default.
- Investors can choose between manual or automated (re-)investments, with very granular selection criteria to match their risk appetite and investment preferences.
LTP: What is your next milestone for the company?
Xavier Laoureux: Finalize our funding round. We are in fact now going for a capital increase of €1,5 million, which we would like to close for the end of 2017. This will give us the means to accelerate our penetration of the Belgian market and kick-off our European expansion.