On the 23rd of August, Debitum Network organized a testing event in Blockchain Vilnius premises and presented a demo version of the long-awaited platform, that is due to be released on the 3rd of September. Co-founder and visionary of Debitum Network Martins Liberts gave a short speech to VIP attendees, presented some of the features of the platform, answered questions and the event finished with a panel discussion. Guests were able to try the demo version of the platform after the event.
Martins Liberts started his speech by stressing the importance of a small business owner to stay in control and not be forced to sell his business due to lack of available capital. Debitum Network was created with the intention that nobody will have to go through the ordeal and all SME owners could keep their businesses and run them as they believe they should.
Martins shared about tough decisions that he and Donatas, being co-founders of high tech company had to sell some share of their company, because they had run out of capital and could not move forward due to lack of funds. M. Liberts expressed his wish that no entrepreneur had to find himself in such a situation and admitted that he and Donatas got lucky and a few years later were able to buy the company back. The experience changed them forever.
The second thing that Martins pointed out as crucially important for the creation of Debitum Network was the need to move fast into the market and be there with the customers rather than concentrate too much on the back end of business.
Martins gave an example: “The three co-founders (Martins, Donatas and Justas) learned the lesson with Debifo – alternative financing company. Having collected 500 000 EUR, we immediately started distributing loans to businesses. Our competitors were concentrating on back-end processes and as time passed by and Debifo reached 1 million Euros portfolio in loans, most of our competitors had already gone out of business, because they were too much focused on back-end solutions and were not moving forward fast enough”.
Debitum Network project started one and a half years ago. At that time, the gap for underfinanced small businesses around the world was 2.6 trillion $. Since that time, the gap has actually expanded to 5.2 trillion $. Martins stated, that the fact proved the need for such companies as Debitum Network. The numbers, similarly, prove that the current financing system does not work and that’s why Debitum Network is necessary for remodeling of the process.
“The first step is that of decentralization, where financing process is no longer a two-party game (borrower and lender). In the financing process, borrowers most likely are local, while the lenders tend to be global. There is already a disparity here. There are necessary various steps in the financing process that will involve third parties: risk assessment, guarantee, insurance or debt collection, who would be local companies. So, there should be created an ecosystem for the financing to function smoothly”, Martins elaborated.
Trust element in lending is of uttermost important and it is the second step. Lenders are putting the money out and trust is important for them. They need an ecosystem that they will be able to trust. Debitum Network is collaborating with KTU (Kaunas Technical University) to create a trust rating algorithm for participants. Each of them will have an initial trust rating and as they move on, they will acquire activity-based trust rating.
The third step for improving the financing process is blockchain. Transparency, security, and trust are some of the features that blockchain is bringing into businesses and enables to implement some of the ideas that Debitum Network stands for.
Having gone through brief history and the steps Martins showed to the audience what the platform will be like: investing in assets, filtering assets in categories, building a briefcase, selecting industries to invest in, key features and functionalities, and how easy it is to use the platform.
Our technical team has done a great work during the six months of development. Having looked at Martins presentation, you will be convinced that we have accomplished far more than we had initially anticipated.
After the presentation, Martins shared his expectations and plans for the platform, as well as business expansion, and took time to answer general questions from the participants of the event.
After Martins finished answering the questions, Debitum Network CMO Mantas Povelauskas invited a few guests for a panel discussion. The participants were: Linas Armalys from Credital (alternative business finance company and a business partner of Debitum Network), Artur Geisari from Monify and Elijus Civilis, the vice minister of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania.
The vice minister clearly stressed that: “The backbone of any economy of any country is small and medium-sized businesses and such services as Debitum Network are necessary because most of the current lending institutions fail to meet ongoing capital needs of small businesses”. He, similarly, recommended alternative lenders to concentrate on specific sectors, learn about prospective customers and provide the best service possible by making the product as easily understandable and accessible as one can make.
“The demand for SMEs in Lithuania remains topical and businesses do approach alternative financing companies to get loans. On the other hand, traditional banks neglect the sector as it seems too small for them”, were Linas Armalys’ thoughts.
According to Monify, the credit gap for small businesses may be well beyond 5 trillion $. Artur G, likewise, elaborated that the company sees more and more business applications for loans in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland.
At the end of panel, Martins Liberts, again, singled out differences between various markets, even those that appear to be close to each other, like Lithuania and Poland. “Small businesses in Lithuania tend to pay loans on time and do not need prolonged grace periods. On the other hand, business owners in Poland tend to be late as they see being on time as a sign of weakness, and that is sort of a culturally ingrained thing now in Poland” concluded Martins.
With the end of the panel discussion, Mantas invited everybody to test Debitum Network demo product at workstations to get a feel how it works, how to invest, see what functionalities are there and maybe ask Martins or technical team any extra questions privately. Below are some photos from the event. For more, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DebitumNetwork