A new ‘social network’ financial institution BankToTheFuture.com launches today, offering an open, transparent way for entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to raise finance and invest in each other. The launch comes just weeks after the online CrowdFunding platform made it into the Top 50 of Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Unite Screw Business As Usual competition.
One of a number of growing CrowdFunding ventures, BankToTheFuture.com
com is different from other financiers available to the public because
it is the world’s first social media-driven financial institution,
evaluating customers on their social media ‘capital’ on Facebook,
Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ and not just credit rating like
traditional banks. All members of BankToTheFuture.com get to build their
social capital score for the future, which measures additional factors
such as reviews, social media activities and recommendations.
BankToTheFuture.com is also making three types of financial offerings
available - CrowdFunding, CrowdInvesting and CrowdLending (available
2013) but any money will only be invested in products and businesses
that seek to bring out new value and potentially create jobs in the
future. Unlike traditional banks charging interest on loans, people who
join www.BankToTheFuture.com get to lend their savings direct to
creditworthy borrowers to receive the interest on their savings as well
as invest in shares and rewards in the businesses that they feel deserve
it, plus they’ll see exactly what happens with their money.
Businesses already pitching for finance on BankToTheFuture.com include
Life Lite Ltd, a patented invention to save children’s lives in the case
of a fire; Strong Room - one of Shoreditch’s first bars and recording
studios, inspiring more talented creative thinkers and The Personal
Development Bureau - a business helping unemployed ex-armed forces,
ex-police officers and ex-fire workers start their own businesses.
BanktotheFuture.com CEO Simon Dixon said: “The goal was to build the
world's first social network financial institution where everything is
transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money,
as well as offering support to the entrepreneurs and businesses that
BanktotheFuture.com is a working model that is changing the
rules of money and banking to show that there is a viable way that can
serve people, entrepreneurs, businesses and make the funds available to
those who have missions to do good through their businesses. At the same
time we wanted to break down the restrictive costs and bureaucracy that
investors used to have to go through when they invested in private
businesses. By signing up towww.BankToTheFuture.com, ordinary people can
now invest in the country’s future businesses, a game that was
previously only available to rich people. We are offering a new way to
invest small and large sums of money in a way where you can see exactly
who it goes to, so we can all get on with creating businesses and
investing in things that might actually create some jobs one day”.
Sir Richard Branson commented on the industry and launch of
BanktotheFuture.com: "With recent scandals tarnishing the banking sector
once again, there's a real opportunity for positive change in the
industry. I believe banks should be about more than just money. There's a
bigger role to be played and that's why my own bank, Virgin Money, has
the ambition and aim to make everyone better off - customers, staff,
shareholders and communities.
"We have a great team under the leadership
of Jayne-Anne Gadhia – who I know will shake up the industry and
challenge the big five that have dominated the high street for too long.
We bought Northern Rock in January this year and we have been very
impressed by the reception we already have. Look out for more Virgin
Money branded accounts and mortgages over the next year. I like the
goals of BankToTheFuture.com, where everything is transparent and open
and people can see what happens with their money. It is great that they
are offering support to entrepreneurs and businesses who will create
jobs in the future”.