Daniel Rajkumar founded rebuildingsociety.com in 2012, before then going on to launch his latest company, White Label Crowdfunding. A serial entrepreneur, Daniel now runs three companies, having launched his first, Web-Translations, while studying at Leeds University.
Over the years, Daniel has learnt more and more about the world of FinTech. He has become an expert in his field, and regularly participates in panels, discussions and events to share his insight and opinions with other businesspeople.
We asked him a few questions to find out more about the company, the people and the projects.
Tell us about how you founded WLCF.
Having built rebuildingsociety.com, we were asked to create a similar platform for another client, and were happy to license the technology. We felt that we should set up a separate brand to market this product and help new market entrants to launch their own P2P lending platforms.
Why did you choose to work in the financial technology field?
The internet has helped to disintermediate so many industries, yet finance has remained stubbornly old-fashioned. Knowing the inefficiency with which banks operate, we felt it important to set up a platform capable of facilitating investments between lenders and business borrowers.
Why do you think crowdfunding and peer-to-peer and peer-to-business lending have become so important in the modern FinTech world?
Banks are ill-equipped to lend to small businesses. They are risk-averse, lack the skills required to evaluate the creditworthiness of a business and unless the loan is over a certain size, it’s just inefficient for them to evaluate it. Furthermore, trust has been eroded.
WLCF builds and hosts crowdfunding platforms for its clients. What type of crowdfunding platforms have you worked with?
All sorts, from consumer credit (personal loans) to business credit to donations, with clients such as Investors in Community and LENDonate.
Can you explain the site building process to us?
Clients take a template version of the technology which forms the base theme. To this, we apply the configuration settings they need and implement the design to match the brand of the new company. Custom functions are developed within the theme for each individual customer, and they have full visibility of the build process on both our development environment, and on our project tool.
What are some of the key points that companies should consider when building a platform?
Our Case Studies can make launching a platform look easy, but the truth is that there’s a lot to organise in the start-up of any business venture. The technology is an enabler that helps to automate various business processes, but there’s still a lot to prepare, such as origination, credit risk analysis, recovery and enforcement, legal and compliance. Companies with regulated Financial Services experience are better positioned to be able to pivot into the P2P lending sector, but we are also able to, and keen to, help first-time entrepreneurs.
What does it take to get the right team behind you?
It’s critical to get the right skills and personalities together from the start. I’ve seen various start-ups recruit people from large corporates to join a start-up, which can be something of a culture shock to some. Having the right backers is also key for ongoing, long-term support because early projections from the first version of the business plan may take more time and additional investment to achieve.
What do you wish someone had told you before you launched rebuildingsociety.com and White Label Crowdfunding?
Recovering debt can take years.
What one piece of advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to build a P2P lending platform?
Be ready to work hard for 3-5 years!
What do you think, or hope, the future holds for WLCF?
More platforms, more international growth, more challenges!