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Crowdlending frontrunner Kameo joins the cluster

Kameo just joined the cluster and we had a little chat with CEO, Linn Hoel Ringvoll! We talk about funding gap in the Norwegian market, how KYC and AML plays a role in the crowdfunding field, the possibilities that lie within collaboration and more.

Tell us about Kameo!
Kameo is a crowdlending platform dedicated to establishing crowdlending* as a more common and widespread form of saving and investing. At the same time we are committed to improve real estate developers' and SME companies' access to capital, so more projects and ideas can be realised without the founders' losing ownership to their idea.

What is happening within the crowdfunding space now?

It is established that there is a funding gap in the Norwegian market. This gap applies particularly to small and medium sized companies in their growth phase. In the rest of the world crowdfunding takes up significant shares of the total financial market, for example is more than 25% of funding to SMEs in Britain provided via crowdfunding platforms. The concept is rapidly establishing itself in the Norwegian market, showing steep growth since Kameo established itself here as the first mover in 2017.

At the same time, there is a more and more focus on saving and investing, and as investing in mutual funds and trading in stocks becomes more and more common, it is obvious that direct investments in smaller companies also gain attention. Through crowdfunding everybody can take her or his share in early phase investments and real estate investments which previously were reserved for the few professionals with much money. With the lowest possible investment of only 500 NOK, at no cost for the investor, you can try your hand at a very low hurdle.

What value do you see in joining an open innovation ecosystem like NCE Finance Innovation?

Kameo has business and offices in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and is among the largest platforms in Scandinavia in this field. We are however convinced that cooperation through a cluster like NCE Finance Innovation carries huge advantages for us as a platform and member, but also for the whole industry.

"A strong and sound cluster will drive innovation in the industry at a faster pace and result in better solutions and new products, than the members would have accomplished without the cluster." says Linn Hoel Ringvoll, CEO at Kameo Norway

In the cluster, knowledge sharing, competition and cooperation models will strengthen the cluster members and increase the quality of the work undertaken by the cluster members. We believe this will lead to better solutions and more effective innovation, which are good for both the platforms and the market. Kameo wants to be a part of this, through sharing our knowledge and experience, and through investigating cooperative models with other members of the cluster.

How is KYC and AML playing a role in your field and which possibilities do you see?

Proper and compliant handling of AML and KYC is extremely important, but also demanding in a small company with thousands of investors covering a big range of customer categories.

While specialized RegTech- and FinTech-companies now are offering more and improved KYC/AML SaaS services, the EU and other supervisors in this field are pointing at the risk of completely outsourcing this important part of control with the financial company's business. These SaaS providers' business model has to some extent been defined as a risk in itself in the modern financial market, because some third party models are not sufficiently addressing, and are not sufficiently designed to handle, the real underlying risks generated by the particular financial institution's customer portfolio, organization, product and technical solutions.

The cluster can address this and contribute to new, better, and more efficient solutions by establishing a forum where various players in this field can exchange information about their own risk assessment on this matter.

Further, fintech companies have - in the same way as banks - need for exchanging information about fraud attempts and other information which is gathered in connection with the onboarding of a customer. Today this information exchange is made impossible by mandatory confidentiality duties. A cluster driven initiative to safe exchange of data could perhaps lead to new rules and solutions simplifying the workload and making the financial market more secure.

*Crowdlending, also known as peer-to-peer lending (abbreviated as P2P lending) is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online platforms that directly match lenders with borrowers, bypassing banks and other financial institutions.