Lendwill, a peer-to-peer microlending startup, has announced plans to establish a strategic operations hub in Lithuania. After recently obtaining a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform operator licence from the Bank in Lithuania, Lendwill expects to set up an office in Vilnius by the end of the year and launch its app in Lithuania soon after.
Oslo-headquartered Lendwill is a peer-to-peer lending platform where users can borrow, lend, and share small amounts of money with one another through an intuitive user experience, reminiscent of the popular dating app Tinder. Seeking to fill the existing gaps in the borrowing landscape, Lendwill was born out of the experience of its founder and CEO, Anzhelika Osmanova.
“When I was studying in Norway, I encountered the challenge of borrowing small amounts from my peers,” she explains. “Besides the psychological barriers that hinder people from seeking such loans, there was a fundamental issue: the absence of a mechanism to record and preserve repayment history as evidence of one’s character and financial credibility.”
Using blockchain technology, Lendwill establishes an internationally verifiable and transferable credit record of its users. This approach mitigates lending risks and alleviates borrowing anxiety, building trust among participants and transforming the borrowing experience.
“Our clients includes individuals from various communities seeking flexible and accessible borrowing options, as well as those looking to support and invest in their peers. We value the power of community and believe that by fostering these connections, we can facilitate financial inclusivity and empowerment,” Ms. Osmanova says.
Since its establishment in 2018, Lendwill has been continuously refining its product – enhancing the user experience, optimizing security measures, and expanding its range of features to offer a comprehensive microlending solution. According to Ms. Osmanova, the new Lithuanian office will play a vital role in the development of Lendwill’s product.
When selecting the new location, Lendwill focused on regions within the EU that showcased a thriving fintech ecosystem and a supportive regulatory environment. Among such options, Lithuania emerged as the perfect fit for the company. As Ms. Osmanova explains, Lithuania’s appeal lies in a combination of factors.
“Firstly, the country’s progressive regulatory framework strikes a harmonious balance between consumer protection and entrepreneurial freedom, providing an ideal environment for our innovative fintech solutions to flourish. Additionally, Lithuania’s strategic position within the EU grants us access to a vast market of over 500M consumers, allowing us to expand our reach and scale our operations effectively. We also had an exceptionally pleasant experience with the Lithuanian regulator, having been positively surprised by the possibility of direct communication with the Bank of Lithuania.”
Among the specialists that Lendwill will be looking for in Lithuania are seasoned professionals in compliance and AML. “We seek to serve the local market well, so we want to hire customer support representatives speaking local languages and probably a few people within R&D,” Ms. Osmanova adds.
According to Elijus Čivilis, General Manager of Invest Lithuania, Lendwill joins a buzzing Fintech ecosystem that provides great support to seed-stage startups.
“I believe that in Lithuania, Lendwill will find the right talent and business environment allow the startup to consistently deliver value to users, scale across Europe, and continue to transform the microlending industry.”
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