At the moment, non-bank financing tools are becoming more and more popular in Russia, opening up many new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. Large companies and businesses tend to have significant government support and a large number of mutually beneficial support options available, unlike SMEs. A few years ago, almost the only opportunity to receive financing for small and medium-sized enterprises was cooperation with banking and credit organizations, taking into account the mandatory payment of interest in a significant amount in accordance with the terms of the contract and the amount of credit or loan received.
In recent years, the situation has changed dramatically. Investment platforms have appeared, which are specialized virtual platforms. Such services make it possible to organize the interaction of potential investors and borrowers in a convenient, affordable, profitable form for all participating parties. According to the latest relevant information from the Association of Investment Platform Operators, the volume of the financing market implemented through investment platforms in 2020 amounted to 4.8 billion rubles, in 2021 – to 8.9 billion rubles, and the forecast for 2022 is 18 billion rubles. During its existence in Russia, investment platforms have proven their effectiveness and, according to expert estimates, have significant potential for further development and wider functional application as a high-tech, effective and economically justified instrument of non-bank investment financing.
These statistics together with the analysis of the current economic situation indicate the need to develop alternative sources of attracting investments. The activities of investment platforms and the movement of financial flows are regulated by law. Due to the transparent mechanism of interaction between the parties, the available method of obtaining investments and the availability of several effective schemes for the return of funds and the fulfillment of obligations by the borrower, crowdplatforms receive an increasing number of investment flows from various sources. In a difficult economic situation, such decisions are becoming more relevant, protected and profitable from the point of view of not only safety, but also effective investment of funds.
Among the advantages of the functioning of investment platforms in Russia, it can be noted that they are legally allowed to implement utilitarian digital rights, digital financial assets or more simply – tokens. At the end of April 2022, the New People party submitted to the State Duma a bill “On Mining in the Russian Federation,” which in the future will introduce mining into the regulatory, legislative plane, and will create a register of mining participants. As a result of this, a new impetus will be given to the derivative of mining – digital financial assets and utilitarian digital rights. And here the relevance of the existing opportunities endowed with investment platforms is difficult to overestimate.
Investors understand such prospects for the development of the financial market, they understand that the future lies with digital currencies. Investment platforms have become an object of increased attention among venture investors. The acquisition of stakes in the assets of investment platforms becomes a profitable solution for the overwhelming number of investors. This allows us to stimulate the expansion of the functionality of investment platforms, increase the number of transactions carried out through such sites, and increase the total amount of effective financing of SMEs. Platform owners and attracted investors can make a profit of up to 120% per annum.
In 2020 crowdlanding platform JetLend received an investment of 5 million rubles with a total value of the company’s assets of 160 million, while investors acquired about 3% of the shares. During 2021 more than 30 million rubles were invested in the StarTrack platform by private investors. Assessing the value of assets in the total amount of 185 million rubles, investors received shares in the amount of 16.7%. Recently, the capital of National Investment Platform LLC (NIP LLC) also included market investors, Sergei Alexandrov and Roman Odegov, whose total share in percentage terms was 15%. New investors, along with the founder of the platform, Sergei Bezdelov, consider NIP LLC a promising project with significant potential, largely due to effective interaction with the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the context of cooperation in various regions. Investors consider the possibility of a promising investment, providing affordable lending to a wide range of consumers among small and medium-sized businesses and startups.
Source: Association of Investment Platform Operators