Nadeem Siam is the creator of Fund Ourselves, one of the UK’s alternative lenders. Fund Ourselves is a UK fintech company disrupting the sector. Previously known as Welendus, Fund Ourselves is a peer-to-peer finance platform where borrowers can seek affordable financial solutions.
Fund Ourselves seeks to create a win-win scenario both for borrowers and for investors. Borrowers can find the most suitable and affordable loan for them whilst investors can earn rates of up to 15%.
Siam boasts an impressive professional background, having previously worked for both the European Space Agency and NASA helping to design computer systems for space satellites. This technical background has served him well for his foray into the competitive world of short-term lending.
Borrowing money often comes with a negative stigma yet, each year, increasingly more Brits look for alternative lending solutions. The short-term loan market has been fairly impenetrable in recent years with high-cost lenders, including QuickQuid and Wonga, monopolising the market.
However, the highly criticised nature of these companies and ongoing compensation claims have led these companies into administration over the last couple of years. Siam has capitalised on the gap in the market and aims to serve the 3 million Brits relying on short-term loans of £50 to £500.
Siam aims to assist what he calls the “lost Wonga generation” by offering genuinely affordable loans. He believes that the system is flawed as, despite costs increasing, salaries are not reflecting these increases. Siam aims to reduce the risk of long-term financial problems saying: “The demand for short-term credit will increase, but we need to deliver it in a better way. Otherwise, people will get into other problems if they can’t get access to the cash they need.”
Fund Ourselves is an exciting finance startup and acts as a flexible solution making it easier for borrowers to obtain loans. Siam describes the company: “The premise behind Fund Ourselves is to be as low-cost and flexible for borrowers as possible, with no penalising structure.”
“Borrowers can’t get a loan without passing fraud, credit, and affordability checks. If they think they are going to struggle to pay the loan in time, they can notify Fund Ourselves using their online account and switch the loan to a longer-term plan – making the payment more manageable, without leaving a black mark against the borrower’s credit rating.”
It is not just borrowers who benefit from the platform. Investors are also incentivised as they have the opportunity to earn between 5-15% interest when lending money. The higher the risk of the loan, the higher the potential interest. Subsequently, the customers with poorer credit offer the highest returns. Although the platform is not secured by the FCSC, Fund Ourselves offers their scheme and their dedicated customer service team can help recover any losses in a worst case scenario.
Since its rebranding, Fund Ourselves has focused on scaling up including new offices in Waterloo, Central London and a customer service team based in Surrey.