With Lendo launches for the first time a credit agency portal in Austria. Ready-made loan offers in just one working day are the goal of the Scandinavian provider.
Vienna has recently been richer by a fintech
Viewed from the outside, this is a typical start-up: in the just-created co-working space “Talent Garden” in Vienna Alsergrund, naked light bulbs hang from the ceiling, empty boxes are in empty office space and in the middle a handful of young people People behind their desks. At her office door a sign with a green inscription: Lendo.
As usual as the scenery looks like for a start-up, this fintech is so unusual
Unusually, above all, because Lendo offers a completely new service with a credit agency portal in Austria. And it is also unusual because Lendo and the Norwegian Schibsted Group are a very potent owner who is also prepared to pay a lot of money for the market launch that will take place in the coming weeks.
A rumored seven-digit amount should flow into advertising from mid-March. “Schibsted has decided to invest in marketing to promote Lendo, and the campaign will be on TV, on the radio and online,” says Lendo Austria CEO Martin Spona.
Schibsted (see below) is not an unknown company in this country, but the Norwegians bought the Austrian flea market app Shpock for more than 200 million euros and own 50 percent of the advertising portal willhaben.at
Lendo was acquired by Schibsted in 2009 and delivers a sales share of around ten percent. Currently in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.
After Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, Austria is number five on the credit intermediary’s map and the first non-Scandinavian country. “Austria is in the market development today as far as Sweden eight years ago”, explains Spona, why the election has now fallen on Austria. While Lendo in Sweden now guarantees a ready-made loan offer in five seconds, Austrian customers are offered an offer within one working day. But even this slower service should make life easier for domestic bank customers. “Especially when I drive to three banks in the country with my loan documents and then compare, it takes a very long time” explains Spona.
And this is exactly where Lendo comes in
Faster and more convenient than in the bank branch and even more discreet than some credit initiation at the tavern table to help private customers to their money. Loans of up to € 65,000 can be obtained from Lendo, regardless of whether the money is needed for housing, buying a car or for a vacation. For the time being, however, there will be no loans via Lendo for self-employed and companies. “We also see a great need here and will possibly expand our offer,” Spona points out.
At the start, six banks, including Raiffeisen Landesbank Steiermark, Bank Austria and Erste Bank, are vying for their favor. Other cooperation partners should follow.
Lendo is confident
However, rapid growth is not only planned on the bank side, but also on the customer side Lendo is confident. “In Sweden, our first market, we cover 60 percent of the digital lending volume, so we want to go somewhere in Austria,” says the head of Lendo Austria. In absolute terms, however, this can not be substantiated due to the lack of available data.
In any case, Lendo has been able to win more than 500,000 customers on the market in Scandinavia in ten years. In 2018, Lendo achieved a revenue increase of eight percent to 87.1 million euros and a profit of 32.9 million euros. The company generates its income exclusively through one-off brokerage commissions – up to a maximum of five percent – from the banks.
Discounts or dumping methods with interest rates well below zero percent, as seen in recent years by some German competitors, customers should not expect at Lendo. “This is not nonsense for me, it’s not in the consumer’s interest and sheer gimmickry,” says Spona, who previously worked for Erste Group and Bank Austria.
Lendo keeps on expanding
That will probably have opened the doors to many of his banking partners and said: “Lendo’s track record convinced us, and of course it means an additional distribution channel for us,” explains Olaf Nitz, Digital Sales Manager at Erste Bank. Fear that the comparability of the conditions ultimately leads to increased price competition among the participating banks, one does not have at Erste Bank: “We do not shy away from the comparison and score with our credibility with the customers,” said Nitz.
After the rollout in Austria, the expansion of Lendo is by no means complete. The Norwegians have already identified the Polish market as their next target. The six-man office in Vienna could serve Schibsted in the near future as a springboard to other Eastern markets. Spona: “We are exploring the markets.”