Raising Finance

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Wonga boss Errol Damelin defends online lender

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Short-term loan provider Wonga offers to “deposit cash into your bank account within 15 minutes”, prompting criticisms that the micro-lender is just another irresponsible loan shark, taking advantage of cash-strapped Brits.

But Errol Damelin insists Wonga is “highly selective” in who it lends to. In an interview with Real Business earlier this year, he explained: “If you drive past a strip mall in the US, you’ll see payday loan shops boasting ‘no credit checks!’ in flashy lights.

“We’re the opposite. We carry out full credit checks and our technology weeds out any clients with unsustainable borrowing patterns. We only accept 15 per cent of first-time applicants. And our decisions are fair because they’re based on objective data.”

Scrutiny of Wonga has recently intensified as the firm’s advertising campaigns have been rolled out across TV, radio and print. Remember Wonga’s sponsorship of free tube travel on New Year’s Eve?

But the attention doesn’t bother Errol Damelin. He’s quick to point out: “It’s a controversial sector – and I’m okay with that,” he says. “A lot of the great entrepreneurial businesses have been built in controversial spaces. Just look at Betfair, PayPal, Google, Skype, Spotify and Facebook.”

(Read our full, exclusive interview with Errol Damelin’s Wonga.)

Don’t miss your chance to meet the man making headlines at the 2011 Entrepreneurs’ Summit on May 25. Errol Damelin will give us the inside scoop on how be disruptive and reach new markets. A perfect fit for the man who’s turned an entire industry on its head!

This year’s Entrepreneurs’ Summit theme is “Give your Business an Unfair Advantage” – you can find out more about the Summit here. Limited tickets available, so book now!

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