Many platforms offer loans to individuals and businesses but most of them either enforce unreasonable conditions and interest rates on their customers. Most of these platforms pool funds from investors and other sponsors, a strategy which sets a limit on how much they can lend out.
In addition, many of these platforms are based locally, and may not be accessible online or to people in different regions.
These problems associated with modern means of accessing loans demand the creation of a unified, social platform where funds can be exchanged between people and businesses.
What it does
Localkopo offers individuals and businesses a platform where they can lend or borrow finances from their peers. The platform is curated to be social, allowing lenders and borrowers to exchange information and agree on the terms of lending and other miscellaneous information including means of fund transfer (if necessary), deadlines and interest rates.
Localkopo allows lenders to post deals on how they want to lend out their funds as well as set terms and conditions on how they conduct business. It allows them to also adjust these terms based on their agreements with individual borrowers.
Apart from lenders and borrowers, Localkopo also has Agents, a subset of users who facilitate the trade when it is inconvenient for the lenders and borrowers to conduct the trade on their own. For example, agents assist in handling of security items (where required), and participate in fund transfers upon request.
How I built it
Upon the conception of the idea, I embarked on the coding process immediately, while deploying other teams members to handle other perspectives of the app, such as business, pricing, branding and other related roles.
The software was (and is still being) developed using agile software development process, which dictates continual improve my and adaptive planning. Over 75% of the app is complete and ready for deployment.
Challenges I ran into
Being a solo programmer, I have had problems managing my time, especially when I had classes to attend.
I also have inadequate development tools, with my laptop breaking down a number of times due to age and overload on its computational capabilities.
Being a student, I also do not have a stable working environment where I can conduct my work. I would work from my hostel (a place I rent outside of school) where I have problems with internet access and sometimes even with electricity. I have considered renting a shared office at various incubation centers, but the cost has since proven not to be manageable.
Finally, being an upcoming entrepreneur, uncertainty in the business world sometimes leads to a lack of motivation. More times than not, I've found myself working against my will, totally unable to find external motivation. I would just do what I can whether or not I feel like it.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I have been able to develop the app to near-completion, an accomplishment which assures me that I will be able to complete it in the next 4 weeks or so. I have been able to develop the app, which is something my peers have not been able to attempt, a fact that makes me feel confident about myself.
I have had numerous problems, many financial, that should have deterred the development process. However, I've somehow managed to find the motivation to ignore present difficulties and keep the focus on the goal, the finish line.
What I learned
I have learnt that focusing on problems magnifies them, and that ignoring them alone is not enough. It is important to have something to focus attention on, and eventually solutions arrive.
I have also learnt to always start even when not ready or when uncertain. With time, the idea develops, becomes concrete and clear, and it then dictates the action plan. It is only important to plan as far as one can see, and do what one can do until other opportunities and ideas present themselves.
What's next for Localkopo
Once the app is complete, my Company Maley Syndicate with its partners (currently in the making) will launch the app to Google Play, Apple App Store as well as deploy a web app. As the app develops and users increase, action may need to be taken to separate Localkopo from Maley Syndicate but incorporating it into a company rather than just a product of another Company.
Try It out
angular.js, apache, ionic, laravel, typescript