A unique Peer-to-Peer investment platform.

Accessible. Impact centered. 100% transparent.

You invest into our micro-entrepreneurs in urban India, giving them the capital they need to grow their business. We ensure sustainable business growth giving them access to larger markets along with ongoing support through our on the ground "Optimizers". You earn as they grow.

  • 200 million micro entrepreneurs lack access to capital in India.
  • Informal interest rates are as high as 10% per DAY and banks do not consider them.
  • You invest into the mobile wallet on their phone.
  • We provide the platform they desire to increase sales and reach more buyers.
  • You receive % of every sale they make, when they make it.
  • You earn and withdraw or reinvest.
View Our Micro-Entrepreneurs

our top priorities

million micro-entrepreneurs

million micro-enterprises

million livelihoods in India

billion USD financial gap

A changing visit

  • Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

    Maimonides
  • People should wake up in the morning and say 'I am not a job seeker, I am a job-creator'

    Muhammad Yunus

The process

access to capital for those who need it most

  • You invest into micro entrepreneurs on our platform

  • They receive the funds instantly to the mobile wallet on their phone.

  • They sell products in their communities or on integrated Ecommerce through the mobile wallet.

  • Your account is instantly credited with a percentage of every sale they make.

Together we can Optimize.

The team

Entrepreneurs. Innovators.

Chenoy Ceil

Chairman and Co-Founder

Chenoy Ceil, is a 2017 MBA student at The University of Tampa. He is from Kolkata, India and is a licensed lawyer with over 3 years’ experience in corporate law, estate planning and family law. His focus is on social entrepreneurship, advocacy and utilizing innovation to serve the poor.

Jennifer Finney

Chief Strategy Officer

Jennifer Finney is a 2016 candidate for a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Health and a Minor in Sociology at the University of Tampa. Jennifer is also a research associate interning at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and works on the CMMI grant of $23.5 million Coordinating All Resources Effectively (CARE). Jennifer is highly interested in bringing her experience in global health to create social impact in Indian slums.

Luciano Perdomo

Chief Financial Officer

Luciano Perdomo is a student at The University of Tampa majoring in entrepreneurship and finance. He was born and raised and Tampa, Florida. Luciano’s passion for finance and its application to entrepreneurship comes from working as an intern with Raymond James & Associates. He has worked on evaluating alternative investment portfolios for nonprofit clients such as United Way.

Yuliya Chashchina

Chief Business Developer

Yuliya Chashchina is a 2017 candidate for a degree in International Business and Finance from The University of Tampa. She was born and raised in Russia, until the age of 13 when she moved to Tampa, FL. She is passionate about mobile innovation and works on building our technology platform with our partner Tilgent Pay.

FAQs

General FAQs

  • What is OptiMrkt?

    A peer to peer investment platform with multi-channel ecommerce integration, optimizing repayments of micro-loans through % of every sale. OptiMrkt came together as a team representing the University of Tampa at the Hult Prize 2016. As a social enterprise, OptiMrkt aims to bring financial inclusion by connecting the “haves” with the “have nots”, optimizing the lives of millions living in poverty.

  • How is OptiMrkt different from other micro-financing websites?

    OptiMrkt is the first and only micro-lending platform that utilizes a unique repayment method by integrating e-commerce to facilitate the repayment of micro-loans and creates transparency between investors and micro-entrepreneurs. Unlike other micro-loan websites, OptiMrkt offers direct person-to-person micro-lending with no local intermediary organizations charging extra percentage (which sometimes goes above 30%), to ensure micro-enterprises and micro-entrepreneurs are not exploited. OptiMrkt allows investors within India and from around the world to impact invest and earn from the growth of micro-enterprises.

  • Why do micro-entrepreneurs choose OptiMrkt?

    Micro-entrepreneurs choose OptiMrkt because they have no access to small business loans from financial institutions and most often are exploited by informal money lenders charging over 10% interest per day. OptiMrkt provides them access to affordable micro-loans for their business growth. In addition, micro-entrepreneurs get access to larger markets through our e-commerce integration, enhancing their business growth. OptiMrkt’s seamless repayment system allows micro-entrepreneurs to focus on their business, rather than upcoming monthly repayments.

  • Why would investors choose OptiMrkt?

    Investors choose OptiMrkt because of our transparency, real-time returns and updates on the business they invest in. 15%-30% of every transaction of the borrower goes toward repaying the principal loan. Ramzan, for example, has a customer that purchases $10 worth of products, 15% of that transaction ($1.50) goes back to the repayment of his loan, and remaining $8.50 goes to Ramzan, allowing Ramzan to focus on growing his business and serving his customers. This offers investors with an interesting and transparent lending experience with a direct person-to-person connection that even leads to friendship. Further, unlike other micro-lending platforms, at OptiMrkt investors receive interest returns on their investment. Our transparent platform also provides investors with real-time updates and opportunities to re-invest in a diverse portfolio of micro-enterprises.

  • What background information does OptiMrkt collect from micro-entrepreneurs?

    Know Your Customer (KYC) norms are followed with micro-entrepreneurs to receive precise residential address, telephone number, as well as national identity is verified before allowing micro-entrepreneurs to seek micro-loans on OptiMrkt. Since OptiMrkt micro-loans are collateral free, micro-entrepreneurs are also advised to join a cooperative unit of business association that stands as guarantor for the micro-entrepreneurs and bears a % of the risk of default along with OptiMrkt.

  • How are funds transferred between micro-entrepreneurs and OptiMrkt?

    Funds are transferred between micro-entrepreneurs and OptiMrkt through Tilgent Mobile Pay payment rail. The micro-loan amount is securely deposited into the mobile wallet of the micro-entrepreneur instantly via mobile phone. With integration with local banks, OptiMrkt ensures that micro-loans are disbursed in local currency.

  • Are investors or micro-entrepreneurs exposed to a risk of fluctuating currency values?

    Yes, the currency exchange rates can rise or fall and the investors have to bear that risk. For the micro-entrepreneur there is no risk as the dollar rates are transferred into local currency before disbursement. OptiMrkt does not provide any kind of protection against fluctuating currency because investors also make gains when US dollar increases in value.

  • How are micro-loan transaction values converted between USD and Indian Rupees?

    Currency is converted by local bank integration with our mobile wallet, Tilgent Pay. When local micro-entrepreneurs make a micro-loan application, the local Indian Rupees currency is converted in US Dollars and the micro-loan amount is fixed at that value for the fundraising period. However, for investors in India, the currency is fixed in terms of Indian Rupees. At the time of disbursement of micro-loan, the US Dollar value is converted back into local currency before it is sent to the mobile wallet of the micro-entrepreneur. However, for repayment, micro-loan amounts are fixed in local currency, to protect the micro-entrepreneur from fluctuating currency values. With every set % of sale, micro-entrepreneurs repay the micro-loan in local currency which is credited to the mobile wallet of the investor in the resulting US Dollar value at the exchange rate in effect on that particular day.

  • How are micro-loan transaction values converted between USD and Indian Rupees?

    Currency is converted by local bank integration with our mobile wallet, Tilgent Pay. When local micro-entrepreneurs make a micro-loan application, the local Indian Rupees currency is converted in US Dollars and the micro-loan amount is fixed at that value for the fundraising period. However, for investors in India, the currency is fixed in terms of Indian Rupees. At the time of disbursement of micro-loan, the US Dollar value is converted back into local currency before it is sent to the mobile wallet of the micro-entrepreneur. However, for repayment, micro-loan amounts are fixed in local currency, to protect the micro-entrepreneur from fluctuating currency values. With every set % of sale, micro-entrepreneurs repay the micro-loan in local currency which is credited to the mobile wallet of the investor in the resulting US Dollar value at the exchange rate in effect on that particular day.

  • How does OptiMrkt protect against electronic crime, fraud?

    Mobile Wallet uses a part authentication for each transaction to protect against fraud. The transaction confirmation uses the texting rail, the most secure way to communicate.

    1. The text can go only to 1 phone number.
    2. A random conformation is text to the phone.
    3. A confirmation text has to come back from that one phone with random code to complete the transaction/purchase.
    This ensures that funds transferred through OptiMrkt are secure and received by the micro-entrepreneur who actually sought for the micro-loan.

  • With a high percentage of cash transactions, how do you penetrate the market with mobile payments?

    The mobile wallet industry in India is set to hit $10billion by 2022. The use of our mobile payment platform will allow micro-entrepreneurs to have more accurate and precise financial reporting. The mobile wallet essentially acts as a budgeting tool and metric for business performance.

  • How can micro-entrepreneurs manage orders on E Commerce and ensure quality is met?

    The existing distribution networks in and around the slums are highly efficient and the few educated micro entrepreneurs are already utilizing them to sell to larger markets and have proven to more than double their income doing so. We are making this accessible for all but most notably we are providing access to capital that is required by all micro-entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

  • How does a micro-entrepreneur receive Ecommerce integration at OptiMrkt?

    At OptiMrkt, micro-entrepreneurs can simply take a photo of the products and add a description to it. There will be a few simple questions on their business description in Hindi and English (depending on their preference) for them to complete. Those who are not capable will be assisted by our Optimizers. Once the products are on our system, we will push the products on multiple platforms such as eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and other Ecommerce sites in India.

  • How does OptiMrkt protect the rights of micro-entrepreneurs and investors?

    1. As a peer-to-peer lending platform, OptiMrkt provides the platform to connect impact investors with micro-enterprises in India. Investors and micro-entrepreneurs are treated with respect and they can provide feedback on the service quality received.
    2. Micro-enterprises and investors are provided with complete and understandable information and there are no hidden costs involved regarding terms of the micro-loan or terms of repayment.
    3. Micro-entrepreneurs are protected from over indebtedness as they are allowed only a % of their annual earnings as micro-loan. Further, business performance is constantly evaluated and quarterly reports are sent to the impact investor to keep them aware of the business growth. Further, micro-enterprises on OptiMrkt are verified and checked to ensure they do not engage in child labor or any illegal activities.
    4. Any form of abuse of the OptiMrkt platform will not be tolerated and willful defaulters will be prevented from using the platform. However, all micro-entrepreneurs will be treated with respect at OptiMrkt and they will be provided reminders, opportunities and financial education to enable them to repay the micro-loan in time. However, in case of default, mediation, arbitration and judicial process will take into effect without engaging in any kind of threats, harassment of micro-entrepreneurs, seizing of property without court orders or any abusive actions in violation of law.
    5. Confidential information of micro-entrepreneurs and investors will not be disclosed and securely protected at all times.
    6. Investors will be provided financial advice to invest in a pool of micro-enterprises to spread the risk of default.

  • Investor FAQs

  • What are the minimum and maximum amounts one can lend?

    An investor can invest as little as $25 and as much as 15-50% of annual sales of the micro-enterprise they are investing in. If Ramzan’s business for example has annual revenues of $1,000, then a lender can invest up to $150 in Ramzan’s business. This ensures that the micro-enterprise is capable of repaying the micro-loan and the investors do not bear a high risk of default.

  • What happens when a micro-loan is not fully funded?

    The micro-loan amounts are flexible and can be partially funded by investors. This allows micro-entrepreneurs to receive partial funding and not lose any funding opportunities at OptiMrkt.

  • How do investors deposit funds to OptiMrkt?

    By registering on OptiMrkt and loading their mobile wallet with their bank account or credit/debit cards or even with paypal integration, investors can easily upload money on their account.

  • How do investors withdraw funds from OptiMrkt?

    Investors simply withdraw funds from OptiMrkt through their mobile wallet by connecting it to their bank account. They can also transfer the funds to their paypal account or withdraw as cashback from our registered micro-entrepreneur’s offline stores.

  • Does OptiMrkt guarantee repayment of funds?

    OptiMrkt lends micro-loans based on cash-flow of the micro-entrepreneur and knowledge about his business and monthly expenditure. Loan repayment is an individual risk of the investor. OptiMrkt does not guarantee the repayment of funds. OptiMrkt proves a risk assessment and financial advice to investors to ensure the highest likelihood of fund repayment. However, it is best advised to spread the investment across multiple micro-enterprises to reduce the risk of default. Further, investors are advised not to invest any amount in excess of what they are capable to save. However, in case of default, investors are offered several options to recover their investment.

  • Are the amounts lent through OptiMrkt tax deductible?

    OptiMrkt is a social enterprise with cross-border establishment. Tax deductibility is best by the structure of the business upon registration.

  • What is stopping a micro-entrepreneur from receiving a micro-loan and then leaving the OptiMrkt platform?

    If this happens they will no longer have access to multiple E Commerce across india and will not be able to receive micro-loans in the future. The value addition we provide is a big enough incentive for them to remain on the platform and continue to repay loans. There is always the risk of default and we are currently reaching out to insurance providers and have the option of investing a portion of our profits to cover defaulted loans. Further, we ensure that micro-enterprises are tied to bigger organizations who bear a 50% of the risk of default and remaining 50% is borne by OptiMrkt. Mediation and legal recourse are other options that OptiMrkt engages in if any micro-entrepreneur fails to repay.

  • Micro-Entrepreneur FAQs

  • Who is eligible to apply for micro-loans at OptiMrkt?

    Every micro-enterprise is evaluated before being placed on our platform. We look at a number of different factors such as business size, turnover, past loan history, community reputation, loan purpose and more to determine their micro-loan eligibility. Further, with Optimizers (local experts) on the ground, we ensure that micro-entrepreneurs are not discriminated and provided equal opportunities to seek micro-loan on OptiMrkt. Most importantly, micro-enterprises are put into a group of cooperative units or business association to ensure that the organisation bears 50% of the risk of default, while the remaining 50% risk of default is borne by OptiMrkt.

  • For which purposes can micro-loans be received?

    Micro-loans are only given to micro-enterprises who have an established small business, or to micro-entrepreneurs who are looking to launch or scale businesses. As long as the purpose and business is legal and ethical, micro-entrepreneurs can seek micro-loan at OptiMrkt.

  • How much can one borrow at OptiMrkt?

    Minimum of $ 25 USD and a maximum of 40% of the annual earnings of the micro-enterprise.

  • What are the fees and interest rates?

    We charge a 4% micro-loan processing fee for every micro-loan amount disbursed, and we charge a 4% fee for any amount withdrawn from the mobile wallet. For micro-enterprises there is between a 10 and 12% interest rate that they have to repay to the investor through a percentage cut out of their everyday sales.

  • What are the terms of repayment?

    Of every transaction 10 to 15% of sales amount goes back to the investor until the loan and interest is repaid, however, a minimum of 15% has to be repaid by the micro-enterprise every quarter.

  • How can micro-enterprises repay micro-loans from offline in-store transactions?

    Micro-entrepreneurs can sell products to buyers in their communities at local stores and receive payment for the products or services through mobile wallet transactions. Micro-entrepreneurs are incentivized to sell on the mobile wallet as they will repay micro-loans faster, leading to better ratings in future which will allows them to seek larger investments in the future. Tilgent Pay’s mobile wallet is very simple and accessible to anyone with a phone and any person can pay instantly to the micro-enterprises through their mobile phone.

  • How do I know my repayment is received?

    Notification will come as a text message to the mobile phone of the micro-entrepreneur as well as sent as email.

  • Can I repay my micro-loan early?

    Yes, a micro-entrepreneur can repay the micro-loan whenever he/she wants. A micro-entrepreneur will have a choice to set a higher percentage of each transaction he is willing to repay as his micro-loan. However, to be eligible for higher micro-loans in future, micro-entrepreneurs will have to remain and operate on OptiMrkt for at least 6 months.

  • What are the consequences of default on repayment?

    If the micro-loan is not paid back in a timely manner or not paid back at all, OptiMrkt will issue reminders to the micro-entrepreneur. If the repayment is still not made, OptiMrkt will contact the business association where the micro-enterprise is registered to engage in mediation. However, if the micro-enterprise is still unable to repay, then OptiMrkt will declare the micro-loan as defaulted and thereby disqualify the micro-entrepreneur from receiving any micro-loan in future. Defaulted micro-loan will also be reported to local credit bureau and micro-financing organizations and legal recourse will be taken against such defaulters.

  • How is performance of micro-enterprise measured?

    Micro-enterprises are evaluated on their business growth and timely repayment of micro-loan. With ecommerce integration, inventory management and feedback rating, micro-entrepreneurs are evaluated to ensure investors have higher level of trust on them. Quarterly reports are generated and sent to both micro-entrepreneur as well as the investor to ensure there is a sense of ownership for both parties in the success of the micro-enterprise.

OptiMrkt is a social enterprise that brings innovative disruption to crowded urban spaces in India.

  • Address: 401 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606
  • Phone: (817)-269-1058