From the beginning, Collin Crowdfund wanted a one-stop-shop application that could handle the back-office processes of loan application, manage all the necessary banking transactions, connect with the correct vetting and approval entities, and maintain a high level of security and compliance.
They looked into a several commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software options and a white label version of a large bank’s software, but both of those would have required extensive customization in order to get close to what they wanted and needed. They decided it was better to just build it themselves from the ground up.
The turned to low-code platforms for their speed to market potential and chose to partner with Mendix. Building their system on Mendix made it possible for Collin Crowdfund to launch as quickly as they could. The original development team built the original platform in only seven months, something that would have taken much, much longer had they attempted to write out the whole platform in long-form code or customize a COTS solution.
Bram explains how they’ve evolved their application from its start as an MVP, “so we started to build our platform and when we went live the platform had way less functions than it has now but the basics were there. And since then we continually kept developing.”
By building the application on Mendix, Collin Crowdfund was able to create a solution that was tailor-made to their specific expectations. This made it possible to build a back-end that incorporated everything they needed to process loans applications, create an integrated checking account for their investors, and ensure that their solution could grow and expand with their business. Regarding the decision to use Mendix, Jeroen said, “we are using the new technology, because without Mendix we can’t do our business.”
Collin Crowdfund forged their own path in many ways, but they are still a part of the banking industry and are subject to high governance demands. The security of their own application was paramount, so choosing a partner with solid security standards and controls was vital. From the beginning, Collin Crowdfund leveraged Mendix’s built-in role-based user access settings to control who could view and edit sensitive information. To prevent any potential weakness in data integration points they also store all their sensitive data on the Mendix Cloud.
Security and protection were huge factors for Collin Crowdfund, but building on a low-code platform also means being able to quickly launch, test, and refine new features and continually improve functionality. Collin Crowdfund is perpetually evolving their platform based on feedback from loan applications, investors, and employees. Innovation is a constant and the result is a modern crowdfunding platform that is always getting better.
Because Collin Crowdfund built their application with their unique business model in mind, they were able to integrate a checking account function into their software. Once you sign up as an investor, repayments of interest and principal are stored in your Collin Crowdfund account, easing the experience of investing in further opportunities without frequent bank transactions.
Another big differentiator between Collin Crowdfund and other community funding platforms is their vetting and approval process, which is another intriguing and wonderfully functional mix of person-to-person interaction and smart tech choices.