2019 Detroit Fintech Challenge Winner Has a Mobile Payments Background
When most of us think of mobile payments, we typically think about people going to stores and paying for things. Much less often do we consider people paying each other—like Venmo and Zelle have demonstrated—and we almost never consider people getting paid. That’s a point that may change as DeFiner.org recently announced its win in the 2019 Detroit Fintech Challenge.
DeFiner.org is a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows individuals to make loans to other individuals, as well as get said loans, backed by a system of blockchain and smart contracts. Those accepting said loans can use cryptocurrency assets for collateral, and loans can be made in either other forms of cryptocurrency or in the local fiat currency.
With the win, DeFiner.org gets $7,500 in cash outright, a $5,000 credit for legal aid, options for “an equity-based $50,000 investment and a $50,000 software and business development package from Kyyba Group” as well as a week’s residency at San Francisco’s Silicon Fintech Bay, fully paid.
DeFiner.org founder and CEO Jason Wu noted “We are humbled and honored to have received this distinction. These are crucial resources to continue our mission of promoting financial trust, growth, and simplicity. We are now looking ahead to the Silicon Valley residency and a chance to meet venture capitalists.”
Events like these certainly do help get businesses out in front of venture capitalists, which can be a serious help in terms of getting future funding. It also allows the business to demonstrate its value against a field of competitors, some of which may even be in the same field. Having to openly demonstrate your competitive advantage to the point where you actually win a contest against said competitors—a field of 17 took a run at it this time—certainly doesn’t hurt a brand’s chances. The current offerings seem mainly focused on cryptocurrency, which may turn some users away, but as this gains ground it may diversify a little harder and help draw more interested users.
Will this be enough to give DeFiner.org a leg up in the actual field? P2P lending is still a comparatively small market, and offering more opportunities for somewhat risky lending may be a help going forward. Only time will tell, but DeFiner.org has made a pretty good case.