TruePillars the first business lending platform to accept retail investors
- Written by Amy Shackell
TruePillars has become the first marketplace lender in Australia able to accept retail investors. This means everyday investors are now able to fund loans made to small and medium sized businesses.
Most marketplace lenders in Australia are restricted to wholesale investors who must either earn more than $250,000 or hold in excess of $2.5m in net assets. Now through TruePillars all investors have the opportunity to provide loan funding to Australian small businesses.
“This is a significant milestone in Australian marketplace lending that is important for businesses, investors and the wider economy,” said John Baini, TruePillars CEO.
“There is a great need for growth funding for small business in Australia that can’t be fully met by the banking system. Our platform provides a mechanism for people to take direct responsibility and keep the country moving by providing loan funding to good quality businesses.”
TruePillars is the first two-sided marketplace lender in Australia to focus exclusively on the small to mid-sized business market, providing loans from $15,000 to $250,000 over a five-year period.
John, the platform’s co-founder, has an extensive senior experience with National Australia Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland in Australia, the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He established TruePillars to create an alternative to traditional forms of lending for the SME finance market.
“TruePillars is now truly part of the sharing economy with everyday people able to invest in everyday businesses and both benefiting. It’s vital as a nation that we build alternate sources of capital that are not reliant on large institutions,” said John.
Opening the platform to retail investors has meant a long lead-time to market for TruePillars, but the company was committed to breaking new ground and prepared to take the more challenging path.
“We have been meticulous in setting up TruePillars with a high standard of compliance and multiple layers of investor protection. We have obtained binding ATO rulings to create certainty for investor tax implications, we’ve made it simple to diversify risk and we have an independent professional trustee focused on investor interests,” said John.
The platform allows investors to choose which businesses they want to invest in. They can invest from $50 per business and spread their investment over as many businesses as they like.
“This gives investors complete choice over where their money goes. It means people can choose to invest in their local community, particular industries or according to their own ethics and values. It was important to us to empower investors in this way, instead of the traditional fund manager approach where decisions are made for them.”
TruePillars is currently taking loan applications from businesses and will soon release the first loans into the marketplace. www.trupillars.com.au