Today marks the launch of a new Indonesian crowdfunding platform DanaDidik, which focusses on giving loans for students. The startup is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

With the aim of providing equal education opportunities to every student, DanaDidik facilitates education loan applications by linking students with sponsors or lenders. As in any crowdfunding platform, all the students have to do is submit loan application, get it reviewed, then post a profile and Youtube campaign to attract sponsors.

Focussing on vocational schools and university students, DanaDidik serves as a ‘social alternative investment’ that can provide return and self-recycle. Its key features are long-term loans; students only have to pay their loans after they have graduated, within a 24-month period.

According to a written statement, the startup was founded as a solution to conventional loans provided by banks and other financial institutions, which typically offer credit cards or unsecured loans to fund education. This mechanism often does not work well for borrowers as loan repayment usually starts the next month, making it a burden for students.

“The solution is not lending to the unbankable. It’s all about systematically evaluating risk & forecasting present value of high earners,” said Dipo Satria Ramli, CEO and Co-Founder.

“Ideally, we want to build ‘Zola’s algorithm’ from Captain America’s movie. Predictive analysis using historical and online data to forecast earning potential,” he added.

Also Read: This startup wants to support Indonesian youths’ social projects

Like many other startups, the inspiration to begin the business started from the founders’ personal experiences. Co-Founder and CTO Januar Sudharsono recalled his struggle to fund his university education.

“When I was in college, I had to live semester-after-semester with no certainty whether I can afford to graduate later,” he said.

Data stated that only 10 per cent of Indonesia’s workforce have a higher degree. For those who are struggling to fund their education, 73 per cent of them borrow money from external parties, and in many cases–loan sharks.

The DanaDidik platform is currently in public beta. Four months after its soft launch, it claimed to have secured 2,200 applicants.

The startup was founded by Ramli, Sudharsono, and Eka Ginting, and is currently run by a team of five.

P2P lending platforms seem to be a huge trend in Indonesia lately, with the recent launch of Modalku (a lending platform for small businesses) recently. Prior to that, the country also saw the launch of GandengTangan, which focusses on social entrepreneurship.

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