To empower investors and businesses and deliver on their financial goals via customised solutions and fintech.
Press Room and Blog
Hear from our CEO and engage with her directly! Charis will share her views on Minterest, the industry and her own personal journey.
Find out how you can invest in a peer-to-business lending platform and create a sustainable investment potrtfolio.
How businesses manage cash flows, secure financing for business growth and all things related to a successful fund raising exercise.
Find insights into the latest developments in the financial and peer-to-business lending industry. And Minterest's own views about matters that concerns investors and borrowers.
What makes the team at Minterest ticks, what motivates and drives us, why we want to serve our stakeholders. And why you should want to join Team Minterest!
You can find up-coming events in the finance and peer-to-business space here. Check this space out regularly for free invites.
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Who is Minterest?
Minterest Private Limited (“Minterest”) is a digital platform that aims to provide a fresh perspective to the way people look at marketplace funding by bringing borrowers and investors together through customised processes and relevant solutions to help them achieve their financial goals. Our mission is to empower and deliver on objectives of everyday investors and businesses through customised processes using fintech solutions.
At Minterest, we believe that the financing gap for SMEs and start-ups are holding back their ability to make a meaningful contribution to the economy’s growth. Businesses have been constantly limited by stringent credit, compliance and high-cost structure, as well as a lack of support from conventional finance-providers. As experienced ex-bankers, without the shackles of a high-cost structure, we believe we can facilitate businesses in getting the support they need and make a positive change. By doing so, we will be able to deliver quality and well-considered investment opportunities for investors that invest through our platform.
To this end, our vision is to create a sustainable ecosystem where everyday investors and businesses build long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial through collaborations and fintech innovations. As a leading marketplace funding platform, Minterest will leverage on a broad spectrum of innovative platform technology to provide the most efficient and effective financing and investment experience for businesses and investors.
How does marketplace funding work?
Marketplace funding is the practice of financing a project, venture or business through the raising of funds from a large number of people i.e. the crowd. With advancement in technology, marketplace funding has become a viable source of financing for businesses, as the costs of engaging the crowd have reduced significantly. Technology has allowed us to create a marketplace where companies and investors can interact efficiently and effectively, where financing and investments are conducted in real time. Technology has also allowed us to monitor and manage financing and investments efficiently.
Is Minterest regulated?
Minterest is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under the Securities and Futures Act. We received our Capital Markets Services licence on 9th January 2017 (Licence Number: CMS100573-1) and this was updated on 23rd March 2017 (Licence Number: CMS100573-2).
Who can access the platform?
Investors who have registered and successfully completed either the knowledge/experience or the suitability questionnaires can access the platform to view live deals. Borrowers who have registered can access the platform to submit their information in respect of a funding application. Borrowers would not be able to access or view live deals or investments unless they sign up as investors.
Why can’t I view live deals on the website?
Investors are not able to view live deals unless they have registered and successfully completed either the knowledge/experience or the suitability questionnaires. This is a requirement of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
What are the different categories of loans?
Loan Requests posted on Minterest falls into one of the following categories:-
As the name suggests, these are loans that are repayable periodically over the tenor of the loan. Repayments could either be made on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis. You will receive interest and a portion of the principal at each repayment. These types of loans can either be fully amortised i.e. fully repaid when the last instalment is made or partially amortised i.e. a portion of the principal is repaid together with the last instalment.
This type of loans is repaid in one payment at the end of the tenor. You will receive the entire interest earned and the whole principal when repayment occurs.
Interest only loans are those where you will receive periodic interest payments with the entire principal being repaid at the end of the loan tenor.
Convertible loans are those that convert into shares in the company that has borrowed the money. When these loans are converted into shares, the loans are effectively repaid and investors subscribe for shares in the borrower immediately using the repayment proceeds.
Why do I need to submit personal documents when I sign up to open an account?
Personal documents are required for us to undertake "know your customer" (KYC) due diligence to enable us to know you and manage risk in a prudent manner. It allows us to identify you and verify your identity by using reliable and independent source documents/information. KYC is mandatory and forms an important part of safeguarding against money laundering and financing of terrorism.
What are the terms and conditions when investing or raising financing using Minterest?
Our terms which include the use of the website, data protection and how lenders interact with borrowers are set out in our Platform Terms.
Do you rate the Funding Requests and, if yes, how?
From 5th October 2017, all Funding Requests listed on Minterest will be given a rating known as MintGrade. The MintGrade rating is our proprietary credit assessment model that reflects both quantitative and qualitative factors taking into account business and financial risks of each counterparty and their respective financing requirements. Our approach is to use as much quantitative data as possible to avoid subjectivity. However, we do recognize that how the promoters and management team react to various scenarios is an important factor in a borrower’s ability to generate sufficient cash flow to meet its obligations. As such, a portion of the rating assessment is based on qualitative observations obtained during the due diligence process. More than 200 data points are processed through our proprietary model to generate a MintGrade rating.
For more information on the MintGrade rating approach and methodology, please click here.
Does Minterest do invoice financing?
MInterest can assist companies that would like to montise their invoices and get paid quickly instead of waiting for their customers to pay them after a period of time. Where the customer is of better credit quality, companies can effectively raise funds at lower interest rate than would otherwise be possible e.g. if they were to raise working capital loans.
How do I sign up as a member?
Please click here to sign up.
Simply register, indicate that you are signing up as an investor. When sign-up is confirmed, complete either the knowledge/experience or the suitability questionnaire and submit your identification documents. Once approved, you will have access to the platform to view live deals. Transfer a minimum of $1,000 to the escrow account (account details provided on the platform) to commence your investment journey.
Are my details kept private?
Details are kept private and not disclosed to borrowers. However, your details are shared with the escrow agent as they will need to perform "know-your-customer" (KYC) checks as well as managing the movements of your funds.
What steps do you take to protect the investors?
Investors’ risk in making investments through our platform generally falls into the following categories:
This covers the ability of borrowers to repay their loans on a timely basis. While we do not provide a recommendation on the creditworthiness of borrowers, we will undertake due diligence on all borrowers to determine their ability to repay promptly. Only borrowers whom we believe are able to meet their obligations on a timely basis will be allowed to post a Loan Request. Apart from protecting investors’ interest, this also protects our reputation as a peer-to-business lending platform that delivers quality deals. Borrowers will have access to our deep structuring capabilities, understanding of cash flows and credit analysis processes to ensure that the loans they raise have the best chance of repayment. This helps the investors in terms of managing default risks.
Your money is maintained in a bank account controlled by a MAS-licensed trust company, Vistra Trust (Singapore) Pte. Limited (“Vistra”). Risks associated with transactions carried out through the platform are mitigated by using a developed and tested platform built by developers, who are experienced and have delivered dozens of such platforms to operators around the world. Your data is kept securely through our platform, which is hosted by Amazon Web Services in Singapore.
Our platform terms, which include the agreement between investors and borrowers, are documented by reputable financial lawyers to ensure that investors’ interests are adequately covered and clauses covering various situations are clear and unambiguous.
Are there any fees payable by me?
Investors do not pay any fees for participating in the Funding Requests or for using the platform. However, a service fee of 15% will be levied on interest, factoring fees and any other fees earned by investors. All interest rates quoted on our platform are on a gross basis and payable to the investors to after deducting the service fee. There may be a small transactional fee imposed by the bank when withdrawals are made.
How do I fund my Platform Account?
You can fund your platform account by making an online transfer either via FAST or GIRO to the designated bank account held by Vistra, our escrow agent. Details of the bank account can be found at your Dashboard Wallet when you make a deposit on the platform account.
The bank account details are also reproduced below:
Account name: Vistra Trust - Minterest
Account number: 003-943613-0
Bank: DBS BANK Ltd
How do I make an offer for a Funding Request?
Subject to funds being available on your Platform Account, you can participate in any of the live deals by selecting them and completing a few simple steps. Once an offer has been submitted, your funds in your Platform Account will be earmarked for this particular Funding Request and shall no longer be available to be used to make another offer or be withdrawn from the Platform Account.
How is the contract signing done?
There is no physical signing of contracts. By clicking and agreeing to our platform terms, you are bound by the terms governing borrowers and lenders. This has the same legal effect as signing a contract.
Can I contact the borrower?
You can contact us with any questions that you may have in respect of a particular Funding Request. We will answer your questions and, where required, seek the borrower’s input.
What is an escrow agent?
Generally, an escrow agent is someone that holds property or money on behalf of someone while a transaction is being finalised. In our context, the escrow agent holds the investors’ money on their behalf before the investors participate or invest in a Loan Request. It will also hold money on behalf of the investors when the loans are repaid prior to it being used for further investments or withdrawn from the escrow agent’s bank account.
Is my money safe?
Your money is maintained in a bank account controlled by a trust company, which is licenced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”). The trust company acts as an escrow agent for the money deposited by investors. We use Vistra Trust (Singapore) Pte. Limited, which is licensed by MAS, as our escrow agent.
How do I withdraw money from my Platform Account?
You can put in a request to withdraw funds under the “My Wallet” tab on your dashboard after you have logged in. Once a request has been submitted, we will process it as soon as possible. Typically, you will receive the funds in your bank account within a couple of working days. Minterest or the escrow agent do not charge any fees. However, the transfer of funds may be subject to a low processing fee charged by the bank.
Will I earn interest on the money placed with Minterest?
Money placed in the escrow agent’s account will not earn any interest. You will earn interest from successfully participating in funding requests that are posted on our platform.
Is there a minimum investment amount?
The typical minimum investment amount is $500 although in certain situations the minimum investment size may be higher. Generally, additional investments can be made in multiples of $100 or $500.
What kind of return on investment can I expect?
The rate of return of a particular investment very much depends on the type of financing, the tenor of the financing and the quality of the counterparty. Generally, you can expect to earn between 8% and 18% per annum although in certain situations interest rate or returns may be lower. At Minterest, we seek out better-quality borrowers as we aim to be a true alternative to conventional financial institutions. Interest rates payable on these financings will commensurate with the credit risks associated with the borrower or the customer in the case of invoice financing. As such, you may notice that interest rates on offerings posted on our platform may be lower than others. We will also bring quality structuring and credit analysis expertise to all the deals we consider for posting on the Minterest platform.
Would my return on investment be taxable?
You will earn interest and fee income from the investments that you make on our platform. We understand that interest and fee income earned from such investments are taxable under the laws of Singapore. You should consult your tax adviser if you are unclear about your tax obligations. If you are a non-resident, you may also be subject to withholding tax on the interest or fee.
How safe are the investments?
Loans are generally safer investments than equities. However, there will be situations where the borrowers are unable to pay on time or may become insolvent resulting in their inability to repay the loan. In such situations, steps will be taken to recover the amount outstanding (these are set out in our Platform Terms). It is important that investors exercise caution and diversify their investments widely so that any defaults by borrowers would account for only an acceptable percentage of their total investment portfolio.
Convertible Loans, by nature, have higher risks than Regular Repayment Loans and Single Repayment Loans as they are or may be convertible into shares of the borrowers. The value of the shares will be determined by the performance and profitability of the borrowers.
Invoice financing is predicated on the credit risk of the client's customer. Typically, the customer will be of a better quality credit risk than the client. This allows the client to access funds are a lower rate than if they were to take a working capital loan using its own credit standing. While the client's customer's credit quality may be better, there could be situations where the client's customer may not pay the invoice e.g. insolvency of the client's customer.
Can I make offer for multiple Funding Requests at the same time?
Yes, you can make offer for multiple Funding Requests subject to availability of funds in your Platform Account.
Why am I encouraged to diversify my investments?
Can I cancel my offer to participate in a Funding Request?
What happens to my money when a Funding Request is unsuccessful?
The amount that you have earmarked for the particular Funding Request will be returned to your Platform Account. You can then use the money to participate in other Funding Requests.
What happens when there is a late payment by a borrower?
Borrowers typically make their loan repayments on the due date and at times, the next day. This is the nature of the SME environment where cash is managed to the day. In exceptional situations, loan repayments may be made before the due date.
When a loan repayment is not made on the due date, Minterest will actively engage the borrower to encourage them to make the payment as soon as possible. There are a number of reasons why a loan repayment may not be made on the due date. The main causes are as follows:
Late repayments due to technicalities
These situations typically arise when a debt repayment date falls a non-banking day or the day immediately after a non-banking day. As a result, cheques or bank instructions are not processed on those days resulting in funds not being cleared in time for repayment into Participating Members wallet. Generally, a couple of working days delay will be encountered. We do not consider this to be a late payment for purposes of the Platform Terms.
Late repayments due to delayed receipts of accounts receivables
There may be times when a borrower's debt repayment is predicated on the receipt of accounts receivable from a customer. Sometimes, the delay could be a couple of days. At times, this could be longer. Where debt repayments are made within a few working days (typically, 5 working days) of the scheduled repayment date, we do not consider this as a late payment. Beyond that, the borrower will be considered to have entered into the 1st Grace Period where late fees are imposed on the borrower and interest continues to be charged.
Late repayments due to poor business performance
Our loans are often to small, medium sized companies. There will be times when business performance of a borrower takes a hit due to various factors including a weakening economy, school holidays or festivals. This may result in a borrower delaying repaying its debts for a period of time. In such circumstances, late fees and late interest will be imposed.
What does the Platform Terms say when a borrower is late in making its debt repayments?
At Minterest, we understand the various challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises. Our priority is to ensure that debt payments are made on time and our portfolio management team keeps track of upcoming repayments with active borrower engagement on such matters. However, we also recognise that there will be situations where debt repayments cannot be made on time. In summary, our Platform Terms provide for 3 possible grace periods for debt repayments to be made. The late fees imposed increases from the 1st to the 3rd grace periods. You may wish to read and understand the specific terms governing late payments. These terms can be found in paragraph 11, Appendix 3 (Loan Terms) at page 33. Click here to read the Platform Terms.
Participating Members’ Updates from Minterest
Minterest will update Participating Members when a loan repayment is late and have entered into its 1st Grace Period. Members will be informed when such an update takes place and can download the document from their Dashboard. Further updates will be provided when there is a development in respect of the late payment e.g. the repayment was made and Participating Members' wallet have been credited with funds. Otherwise, an update will be provided if the repayment goes into its 2nd Grace Period and so on.
What happens when a borrower defaults on a loan?
We will work with the borrower to find a satisfactory solution to repay the amount outstanding, failing which a debt collection agency may be appointed to recover the outstanding amount. Notwithstanding the above, you will have direct recourse to the borrower and the personal guarantee(s) that was(were) provided as part of the loan.
Can I take legal action against a borrower when there is a default?
Subject to certain terms and conditions, you can take legal action against a borrower directly to recover the amount owing to you when there is a default in payment.
Would investing in Loan Requests contravene the Moneylenders Act?
We have been advised that investing in Loan Requests via our platform will not contravene the Moneylenders Act. Participating in invoice financing is essentially the purchase of invoices and as such, the considerations of moneylending are not relevant.
What happens if Minterest ceases operations or goes bankrupt?
Minterest is sufficiently funded and led by a strong management team made up of very experienced former bankers to ensure the operations are run in an efficient and effective manner, including compliance with relevant regulations. However, in the event that Minterest, for unforseen circumstances, ceases operations, funds deposited by the investors will still continue to be handled by the escrow agent. The financing arrangements between the borrowers and lenders shall also remain valid and we will work with a reputable agency to fulfill the service duties of the platform, if necessary. The risk of investors’ monies being unaccountable for remains low as the escrow agent appointed is a licenced trust company with significant operations in Singapore and globally.
Can I register as a borrower and an investor at the same time using the same account?
The registration and acceptance requirements of an investor and a borrower are very different. As such, one account cannot be used for both investing and borrowing. You would need to register for an investor account and a borrower account separately should you wish to undertake activities related to both account types.
What is invoice financing and how does it work?
For more details about invoice financing, you can click here.
How do I sign up as a client?
Please click here to sign up.
Simply register, indicate that you are signing up as a borrower and provide the required information to open a Client Account. Once opened, you can use the account to create Funding Requests for posting on our platform, subject to credit analysis and approval.
Is my company qualified to apply for a loan on Minterest?
We welcome any entity that is a company or limited liability partnership registered with ACRA with at least one director is a Singaporean / Permanent Resident or foreigner residing in Singapore. Our preference is for borrowers with a track record with profitability but we will assess each entity on a case-by-case basis and assist in structuring the fund-raising to ensure as much success as possible. At our discretion, we may accept borrowers with foreign ownership.
What documents do I need to submit for a loan or invoice financing application?
In order for us to assess your application, please submit the following documents:
- ACRA Business Profile;
- Memorandum & Articles of Association;
- Last 2 years Financial Statements, or Management Accounts where applicable.
In addition, please provide details of your customber and expected invoice(s) value if you are applying for invoice financing.
What can I expect after submitting all the documents for a loan or invoice financing application?
Will all the information I provide be made public?
What are the details that will be presented to the investors in the Funding Request?
Information will include:
- Your company’s principal activities, purpose of the loan and source of repayment;
- Key terms of the Funding Request including loan size, tenor and interest rate;
- Any collateral to be provided to secure the loan;
- A description of your company’s profile as well as the guarantors;
- The main risks and mitigants associated with investing in your loan;
- Financial highlights of your company, including the preceding two years P&L Account and Balance Sheet (if available);
- Repayment profile of the loan or invoice financing.
Is there a minimum amount of loan that I can request?
Minimum loan amount is $50,000. A lower amount may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What are the types of repayment structure that are available?
We currently provide two main types of loan structures:-
- Regular Payment
Borrowers seeking working capital would typically be advised to select this type of loan. It allows borrowers to manage their cash flows over a financial year so that they can take advantage of business opportunities that may come their way.
This type of loan requires the borrower to repay the loan and interest in equal instalments on a regular basis e.g.monthly, similar to payments on a mortgage loan. Loan tenor is generally for up to 12 months. Loan tenor for more than 12 months can also be considered.
- Single Payment
Borrowers that have lump sum cash receipts at certain points in time are optimal candidates for this type of loan. For example, a lump sum invoice payment in three months’ time or a cash inflow as a result of an event happening e.g. organising a conference or receiving a grant. This type of loans allow borrowers to have access to critical cash flows to pay suppliers and other creditors while waiting for a significant amount of cash receipts occurring in the future.
Borrowers are only required to pay the principal and interest at the end of the loan tenor. Loan tenor for this type of financing is generally no more than 12 months. Depending on specific requirements and business circumstances, tenor of more than 12 months can be considered.
How long can a loan tenor be?
We currently provide two main types of loan structures:-
- Regular Payment
Loan tenor is generally for up to 12 months. Loan tenor for more than 12 months can also be considered.
- Single Payment
Loan tenor for this type of financing is generally no more than 12 months.
What interest rate can I expect to pay?
Borrowers can expect to pay an interest rate of between 8% and 18% per annum. Considerations such as tenor, type of loan structure, source of cash for repayment, historical track record of company and general macro economic factors will determine the actual interest rate payable.
For invoice financing, factoring rates could be as low as 0.5% per month.
What are the fees that are payable to Minterest?
Minterest will charge a processing fee calculated based on the loan amount. This fee, starting from 2%, will be payable upfront when the loan is disbursed. Apart from the processing fee, there are no other charges payable to Minterest. For example, if your processing fee is 3%, you will receive $97,000 if your loan size is $100,000.
For invoice financing, a processing fee will be charged when putting in place the invoice financing facility. Each factoring request will incur an administrative fee. These fees are very competitive to ensure that your overall factoring rates are kept low.
How is contract signing done?
By clicking and agreeing to our platform terms, you are bound by the terms governing borrowers and lenders. This has the same legal effect as signing a loan contract. In addition, depending on requirements, you may need to sign certain other documents that may be required for the loan to take effect.
Can I make multiple Funding Requests?
A borrower can make multiple Funding Requests at any one time. The ability to do so will be determined by Minterest at our sole discretion.
What criteria do you use in approving a Funding Request?
Minterest has its own customised loan processing procedures to assess the viability of Funding Requests. Main considerations when approving a Funding Request include the profile of promoters/management team, identifiable cash flows, business track record and macro-economic factors.
When can I expect to receive financing proceeds once the Funding Request is successfully accepted?
Once a Funding Request is successfully accepted by Minterest, it will be posted on the platform. Investors will be invited to make an offer to participate in the Funding Request. The period of the offer will normally be two weeks unless you prefer it to be otherwise. The period of offer will automatically lapse once the Funding Request is fully subscribed. The date of disbursement of the loan proceeds will be determined by yourself when a Funding Request is made initially – this can either be within 48 working hours of a Funding Request being fully subscribed or a specified date of your choosing.
What happens if the Funding Request is not fully subscribed?
Loan Requests that are at least 75% subscribed at the end of the period of offer will continue to be funded i.e. you will receive the loan proceeds even if it is not fully subscribed. Loan Requests that have a participation rate of less than 75% will be subject to further discussions – decision will be made to either extend the offer period, proceed with taking the loan or abandon the Loan Request.
For invoice financing, 100% of the offering must be taken up by investors before it will be considered successful.
How do I make a repayment on my loan?
Can I make a prepayment on my loan?
We do not expect many borrowers to be making a prepayment on their loans. As such, we have not provided for prepayment of loans in our Platform Terms.
What happens if there is a late repayment?
When a late repayment occurs, you are encouraged to make the missed payment as soon as you can. We will work with you to identify and resolve the reasons for a late repayment. You will be charged a late payment fee amounting to 2% of the loan principal outstanding or $2,000, whichever is higher.
What happens if my business is unable to pay back the loan?
We will work with you to find a satisfactory solution to repay the amount outstanding, failing which a debt collection agency may be appointed to recover the outstanding amount. Notwithstanding the above, the lenders will have direct recourse to your company, any collateral that was provided and the personal guarantee(s) that was(were) provided as part of the loan.
What happens after I have made the last of my loan payments?
Is a personal guarantee required?
A personal guarantee is required for all Loan Requests except for Convertible Loans. Personal guarantee is also required to guarantee the repurchase of invoices pursuant to an invoice financing.
How can I refer a business contact to you?
We welcome referrals. A referral fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 will be paid to you should the company you referred be successful in raising funds through our platform. Minterest reserves the right to amend or alter this incentive at any point in time.
What happens if my customer does not make payment on an invoice?
You would be required to repurchase the invoice(s) in the event that your customer does not make a full payment on the invoice(s). Your repurchase obligations will only arise 60 days after the maturity date in your invoice financing terms.
Investors’ monies are separately held by Vistra Trust (Singapore) Pte Limited, a MAS regulated trust company.