ArchOver cuts out the middle-man, providing loan funding direct from individuals, family offices and institutions to businesses. Technology built by Gislen, over the past six years, sits at the core of ArchOver’s business. Together ArchOver and Gislen Software are part of the worldwide FinTech revolution.
ArchOver is a member of the 300-year-old Hampden Group, a leading provider of specialist insurance, investment and financial support services.
ArchOver is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority, under number 723755.
What ArchOver does and how Gislen Software helps
ArchOver is primarily a peer-to-peer business lending service, focusing on connecting businesses requiring finance that can’t obtain that finance from banks and other mainstream lenders with lenders seeking a secure and favourable return. So far, ArchOver has facilitated over £110 million, the total grows every day, in funding for UK businesses and delivered lender returns of up to 10% pa. The connection of borrowers and lenders is made over the ArchOver specified, and Gislen built ArchOver Platform.
How it all started
In the early 2000s ArchOver’s Group CEO, Angus Dent was CFO of a client of Gislen Software. When ArchOver decided to outsource their development, it came naturally to him to ask Gislen Software since his experience of working with us in the past had been good. While Gislen Software had worked with development for hedge funds in the past, P2P was a new vertical. Angus visited us in India and spent a week discussing the requirements with two of our local analysts. This provided the initial input for the first phase. Since then the ArchOver team has been strengthened and for most the period we’ve been involved our primary contact has been Ted Hurlock.
Requirement and Design
The analysis involved extensive discussions, an ongoing dialogue which continued via email. Detailed working notes were compiled, and these and a product backlog were entered into JIRA (subject and project tracking software). The screen design used simple wireframes. We designed classes and relationships and developed high-level documentation of the entire platform.
It was agreed that we should use an Agile Methodology for software development – a combination of Scrum and Extreme Programming. This development process consists of several sprints. Each sprint is a short iteration which involves a self-managed team striving to build fully-tested product increments. After each iteration, empirical feedback ensures very high quality. We also conducted an interesting experiment in which we combined our ISO 9000 internal audits with Scrum Retrospective, creating a continuously documented improvement cycle.
For this web application, we have used a Model-View-Controller (MVC) development pattern, which is a software architectural pattern for implementing user interfaces.
Since we used an iterative development process, unit tests are used to test the business layer, and automated test scripts check the UI. This process is maintained consistently to ensure high quality.
Web Application Security
At Gislen Software, we make sure that all our web applications adhere to the guidelines laid down in OWASP-10. This is vital in a financial application, and we use code review to ensure that the guidelines are implemented. For testing at different levels, we have used test-driven development, automatic tests, developer tests and independent testers. ArchOver’s staff have also tested to ensure that the application meets the highest possible standards.
The ArchOver.com platform is a complete solution. It provides a holistic but very easy-to-use interface for lenders, borrowers and administrators which takes into consideration that some participants may be novices. The platform follows all regulatory guidelines laid down by the relevant authorities. Statutory documents like NDAs and collateral documents can be directly uploaded to the website. All approvals, project status changes are intimated to stakeholders through automatically generated emails. The application also has an in-depth audit log where every event or change in status is logged.
The application is hosted at Microsoft Azure with data secured in another location. The deployment solution provides high availability and scalability. Gislen Software and ArchOver have jointly worked together to ensure that the solution is compliant with the GDPR.
This solution has been very successful. A responsible product owner, a well-defined governance process with clear-cut role distribution between ArchOver and Gislen have all been critical to this success. Gislen Software has so far met every milestone that ArchOver has set, resulting in an application where all stakeholders are pleased.
The first loan was completed in 2014 and ArchOver has since advanced more than £110M!