It took the Qardus team 10 months to conceptualize, build, test and launch its Shariah compliant peer-to-peer financing platform on the 3rd July 2020. “I wanted a platform that offers fast and affordable Shariah compliant business financing to SMEs,” Hassan Daher, the founder and CEO, tells IFN. Qardus offers SMEs a chance at alternative financing as they believe many SMEs are not eligible for bank financing.
Market Insiders reported that the funding gap in the UK has grown to US$77 billion as of 2019. The largest hurdle the start-up faced was securing the right approvals. The firm is an appointed representative of Share In which is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority while Qardus’s Shariah compliance is monitored and approved by Amanah Advisors.
“Due to the pandemic we are focusing on recession-proof industries. If you look at the small business on our site, it is essentially pharmacy and pharmacies
While market opportunities are immense, Hassan acknowledges that it is a competitive segment especially with the emergence of new government initiatives in response to COVID-19 such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the coronavirus business support loans.
Over the next year, Qardus is looking to onboard around 150 SMEs with financing totaling an estimated GBP15 million (US$18.85 million) and within the next
The platform is also looking to tap asset financing and possibly property financing. Aiming higher, Qardus is looking to provide its own technology solutions to existing lenders in the market and in turn, Qardus will do the sourcing, risk profiling and pricing of SMEs on their behalf.
Currently, Qardus is focused on making a mark in the UK and European markets but is also looking to expand to Southeast Asia and the Middle East in the future. As part of its expansion plan, the platform is also planning to become an Islamic challenger bank in the near future.
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