Last week the p2c (peer-to-company) lending service Funding Community launched. P2P loans in the US so far were done nearly entirely to individuals. Funding Community wants to change that and enable loans to local businesses. Funding Community is open to lenders from most states (and not restricted to accredited investors). All loans are 9 months loans. In addition to interest payments lenders may get rewards from the company (e.g. discounts). One example is a fitness company that offers 9,7% interest plus 2 personal traing sessions as reward.
Note that technically lenders at Funding Community do not lend directly to the company that seeks the loan. Instead, lenders lend to Funding Community, which, in turn, lends money to small companies, including the particular ones the lender selected.
Funding Community states that all loans are secured
The interest rates we provide, as well as a security interest in our assets are designed to decrease the risk to lenders. In addition, we take a security interest in small businesses to whom we make a loan and also generally require a personal guarantor to support repayment. We also set aside a small pool of capital to cover a portion of loans that default. It bears repeating, however, that you may not lend to us or use Funding Community expecting a return or profit. You may only use Funding Community if your primary purpose in making the loan is to help us overcome short-term cash-flow considerations in supporting small business growth in the United States.
For now, Funding Circle started with making loans to businesses located in New York and plans to expand into other areas later.
Funding Community charges companies a 2.5% loan origination fee and lenders a 0.5% service fee.
‘P2P Income Partners‘ is a new investment fund by Symfonie Capital that will invest capital in p2p loans. The founder, Michael Sonenshine, an ex-investment banker, told P2P-Banking.com that he plans the first tranche to be 25 million Euro. He says: “Initially we will invest in loans issued by sites such as Prosper, Lending club, Funding Circle, Zopa, Isepankur and we will add fonds to the mix as we see fit. The P2P market is not only web-based. There are opportunities to make direct loan across Europe. The key to success is spreading the risk and doing careful due diligence.”. The fund is open to qualified investors. Minimum investment is stated as 100,000 US$.
Today Isepankur launched the possibility for lenders to sell and buy loan (parts) on a secondary marketplace. Lenders can list the loans they want to sell at the secondary marketplace and set a price which either is equal to the outstanding principal or apply a premium (up to 5%) or a discount to that. The fee Isepankur charges if a transaction closes is 1.5% (each) from seller and buyer.
I talked about the advantages a secondary market offers in p2p lending before. Most major marketplace have added the possibility to sell or buy loans. The latest to introduce this feature was Ratesetter.
In the past weeks Isepankur also introduced borrower groups (A, B and C), which group loan applications by discretionary income. Combined with the credit history classification already used (600-1000) loan applications are now classified by a combination of both (e.g. A800).
Both VC have made previous investments in p2p lending companies. Union Square Ventures invested in Lending Club and Funding Circle. Index Ventures invested in Funding Circle.
CEO Raffael Johnen told P2P-Banking.com: “We are happy to have won Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures as investors. Both have comprehensive experience with online marketplaces nad their expertise will help us to accomplish our plans to grow”. Johnen plans to use the raised amount to continue development of the technology. Furthermore he want to increase the staff (currently about 30). Main goal of Aumxoney is the growth of the loan volume.
Linked Finance brings p2c lending to Ireland, enabling Irish residents (and companies) to lend to Irish companies. Borrowing companies are grouped into one of four categories (consumer, Manufacturing, industrial and agricultural, young businesses or knowledge, information technology (IT) and expertise). Linked Finance reviews each potential borrower and only allows businesses to borrow if they have successfully completed a full credit vetting process. The process is based on validating key up-to-date financial information and ensuring the creditworthiness of each borrower posted on the site. Linked Finance had start-up investment from Enterprise Ireland, and partners and investors in the venture include entrepreneurs Bobby Kerr, Senator Feargal Quinn, and Kingsley Aikins, as well as Irish American businessmen Peter Hooper and Carl Shanahan.
When p2p lending service Isepankur opened up to investors from all EU countries five month ago, I started lending there. In this post I continue the series of posts reviewing the development of my loan portfolio. I have deposited 6,000 Euro (approx. 7,800 US$) since starting. The account currently has 126 Euro in cash, 70 Euro waiting in bids on loans to close and 6,550 Euro is invested in loans. So far I was repaid 476 Euro principal and received 271 Euro interest.
Chart 1: Screenshot of account balance
Distribution of loans on credit grade ranges
My investment is spread out over about 350 loan parts (a bit less loans as sometimes I have 2 or 3 bids in one loan). 5,435 Euro (83%) is invested in top credit grade (”1000″) loans. 780 Euro (12%) in “900″ grade loans. And the remainder are experimental bids in “600″-”800″ grade loans. Read the rest of this entry »
Documents available to P2P-Banking.com show that German p2p lending service Auxmoney raised a series A round in the end of 2012 from 2 companies. The new investors now hold 21.8% of the shares, the 3 founders Philip Kamp, Raffael Johnen and Philipp Kriependorf hold 40.4% of the shares and the remainder is held by various seed investors (mainly from Austria and UK). The volume of the Series A round was not disclosed. In fact the round itself was not announced in public.
Yesterday Auxmoney did change its business model. In the past Auxmoney approach was subject to continued criticism (see also), because Auxmoneys largest fee income came from listing fees that every applicant for a loan had to pay. And with 80-90% of applications not funded, many critics felt that this model was unfair to the borrowers.
New fee model
Since yesterday Auxmoney charges borrowers a transaction fee for funded loan applications, but no more listing fees. This is in line with fee structures used by most major p2p lending services. Lenders pay a 1% transaction fee on successful bids.
No more auctions
In the past Auxmoney used a mix of loan listings that closed when they reached 100% funding and loans with reverse dutch auctions. In future all loan listings run for a maximum of 20 days and close immediately when they reach 100% funding. Raffael Johnen, co-founder of Auxmoney told P2P-Banking.com: ‘Lenders told us, that when they had bidded, they wanted to be sure to have invested in the loan part and disliked when they were outbid in the course of the auction‘.
Auxmoney also redid parts of the user interface and the dashboard for lenders. Johnen promised faster and more transparent information from the collection process. Read the rest of this entry »
Folk2Folk launches a p2p lending services for interest-only loans that are secured by first mortgages. A borrower may not use the home he lives in as security, the services aims at residential buy to let, holiday homes, commercial or industrial premises, farms and agricultural land. The loan amount can be 60% or less than the value of the security.
To start lending a minimum investment of 25,000 GBP is required. Quoted interest rates for last week range from 6 to 9%. Borrowers pay a 2% fee. Fixed term loans as well as variable length loans are possible. The concept of a p2p mortgage may sound complex, but Folk2Folk says they aim to complete the lending in 8 to 10 calender days from the time the borrower applied.
There is a very detailed set of rules describing all eventualities.
Societyone, an Australian p2p lending service, presented a mobile app at Finovate Asia. Previous apps offered by p2p lending services either optimised the display of website data for the mobile interface or offered basic bidding functions for investors. This one goes far beyond that. It promises the borrower a loan application and funding within 3 minutes.
To do this Societyone implemented the following steps:
Only a few fields are required in the application (that is not a revolution but rather common sense and already used in many online application processes for loans)
The borrower allows the app to retrieve transaction data from the past 3 months directly and automatically from the bank account he links
The borrower allows the app to access his credit history data
Like other p2p lending services Societyone offers lenders an automatic bidding feature that bids directly if a new loan request matches the desired parameters
From the information in 2. and 3. Societyone calculates the maximum loan amount which the borrower has capacity to repay. From the information in 4. Societyone can determine which maximum loan amount could be instantly filled by existing automatic bids. Both information combined result in a maximum approved loan amount which is displayed to the borrower
The borrower now enters the loan amount he wants and immediately Societyone displays which lenders fund his loan (in the example in the video 12 persons fund the loan)
If the borrower confirms the loan applications the money is transferred to his bank account.
If you look further than whether there is a need by consumers to apply for loans from mobile devices rather than PCs there are a some very interesting key take-aways from this App. Read the rest of this entry »