Ozon.ru, a leading Russian online retailer, is testing a service that will allow customers to grant loans to small and medium businesses among Ozon’s 2,000+ suppliers.
The new service, dubbed ‘Ozon.Invest,’ was presented on December 21. It will start operating “in the beginning of 2019,” according to its website.
As reported by the business daily Vedomosti, Ozon promises an annual interest rate of over 18%, which is higher than the current ruble deposit interest rates.
Interested users are requested to lend at least 10,000 rubles (approximately $147 at the current exchange rate). The service will develop recommendations for investors on the basis of 200 parameters to assess borrowers’ financial situation. Loan agreements will be confirmed using e-signatures.
Only official Ozon suppliers will be able to receive Ozon users’ loans. These may total up to 2mn rubles (approximately $29,400).
Ozon does not guarantee loan recoverability; however, in case of default, Ozon promises to assist the lenders in claiming their money back.
Ozon’s service fee will amount to 6% of the loan.
Alfa-Bank, the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, or FRII in Russian) and the Italian company General Invest have launched similar C2B loan platforms in Russia.