I recently came across RangDe.org which takes the concept of microfinance to the online world.
It serves as a bridge between ’social investors’ and people who need small amounts of money to improve their business and financial position. For your investment, you stand to earn 3.5% per annum. Of course, this is not guaranteed since the money is being lent to low income households and the probability of default could be high. Having said that, it is interesting to see from their statistics that 100% of the loans have been paid back so far.
You can go through the list of borrowers, with a brief on why they need that extra money and you can then decide to invest accordingly. If you don’t have the time to select a borrower, you can also do something known as “Smart Invest” where RangDe picks borrowers on their behalf.
To cover their costs, RangDe charges an interest rate of 8.5% pa to the borrowers and retains 5% of that, handing over the remaining 3.5% to you, the investor.
It is an interesting service, and it will be all the more interesting to see how they fare in the coming years. Visit Rangde.org and see if you would like to be a part of their social investment spectrum.
This article originally appeared here.