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Rocket Internet’s Credit Marketplace Zencap Will Help SMEs Ditch Bank Loans

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969143_377794345694352_1949095870_nFrom the guys who build  Zalando, eDarling and Groupon, Hellofood, Jumia, Lamudi among others Zencap has launched to be world’s first digital credit marketplace for SMEs.

Live in Germany now, the Rocket Internet-backed firm aims to give both small- and medium-sized companies an opportunity to receive financing quickly and hassle-free. Founded in March 2014 and led by Dr. Christian Grobe and Dr. Matthias Knecht and a team of 35 experts with finance expertise,  Zencap acts as a bridge between both sides, Zencap connects entrepreneurs and private investors – without a detour via banks – and creates a new financial freedom of action for SMEs. Rocket Internet’s Zencap helps medium-sized enterprises gain independence from traditional banking.

SMEs are allover.

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579234_377795339027586_263170848_nIn Germany alone about 99% of all companies are small or medium-sized and they reach an annual revenue of 2 billion Euros, which makes them the backbone of the German economy says Dr. Christian Grobe, founder and director of Zencap.

“However, credit financing is a bureaucratic and tedious process that often ends in frustration. In fact, the latest KfW-Panel about medium-sized companies came to the result that 20% of all credit negotiations are doomed to failure. It is our goal to dismantle these barriers by providing an easy and unbureaucratic alternative to banks,” Grobe adds.

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Zencap therefore has launched to strengthen the negotiation position of smaller businesses and also offer them maximum flexibility, e.g. the opportunity to repay loans early without additional fees. Investors benefit, too: they can diversify their portfolio across five different risk classes and receive returns between 2.3 and 13.9%. Zencap investors get interest- and principal repayments on a monthly basis as opposed to current accounts.

In a statement, Dr. Matthias Knecht, founder and director of Zencap said, “We want to enable the entrepreneurial creativity of medium-sized companies and give them the freedom to realize innovative ideas. In our opinion, the keys to this are lean processes, effective risk management and unbureaucratic user-friendly applications. This way, our customers can stop worrying about financing and refocus on what is central: their enterprise.

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The platform works simply,  Zencap entrepreneurs and investors get together without any detours via banks.

1.Credit application: Entrepreneurs apply for a loan for € 10.000 – € 150.000, with a term of 6 – 60 months on The application on the website can be completed in just a few steps.

2.Assessment of creditworthiness: The Zencap risk management team checks the company’s creditworthiness within a few days.

3.Non-binding interest rate offer: In the next step Zencap proposes a non-binding offer based on the company’s risk class and the loan’s term. After accepting the offer, the credit project appears on the Zencap website.

4.Investments by private investors: Investors now have the opportunity to select between different company profiles. An investment begins with 100€.

5.Payout to enterprises: Once a credit project is financed by investors, the credit gets paid out. Only in this case, Zencap receives an agency-fee between 1 – 4.5 %, depending on the credit’s term.

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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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