2,524 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
After offering my congratulations, I posed a few questions to SoMoLend founder Candace Klein:
Crowdsourcing.org: How important is this latest round of funding to SoMoLend's roll out plan?
Candace Klein: The seed round of funding that SoMoLend just closed was imperative for our nationwide rollout. We have been in beta across the state of Ohio since December 2011, but were unable to serve all 50 states without our seed round of funding. Today, we are now able to serve small business borrowers in all 50 states, and are working to sign on new banks, ecnomic development entities and business associations daily.
What can you tell me about the roll-out? How do you expect it will go?
To date, we've already had hundreds of borrowers sign onto our site. We can now serve them better, as we are working to sign on new and interesting lenders, with differing risk profiles, in an attempt to find financing for all borrowers. While we cannot roll-out our full debt-based crowdfunding platform until January, 2013, we are actively signing loans today with banks, chambers of commerce, cities, churches and foundations, and we believe that we can serve thousands of small business borrowers with these resources.
What type of businesses do you anticipate will benefit most from your model?
To date, the businesses who have most often signed up on our platform include retail, restaurant and professional service companies. These businesses have struggled, historically, in securing bank financing, but are finding better luck with other, more creative community-based organizations. Because we do not decline borrowers, even if they have poor credit or are a startup, this opens the door for a number of commercial borrowers who would not have much luck finding financing elsewhere, but at competitve prices.
Anything you can share about what sets your P2P lending technology apart?
Unlike our competitors, we are focused solely on commercial (small business) loans. As such, our site is completely transparent. A lender on our platform can see who the borrower is, communicate directly with them, and even meet them in person before making a lending decision. Our competitive advantage is that we are social, mobile and local. Hence the name, SoMoLend.
What steps still need to be taken in 2012 before you're ready to go in 2013?
We are focused on enhancing our user experience through the remainder of 2012, with the hope of rolling out our mobile application by this fall if at all possible.
Also: Listen to Candace Klein in this Business Matters podcast.
- Eric Mack is a contributing editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He also currently contributes to CNET. In the past, his work has been featured by NPR, Wired, the New York Times and other outlets. You can contact him at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter.