October 1, 2015
A new player in P2P lending market was launched September 24th, 2015 with $900K in seed funding. Mobile application Ledge, powered by Venmo, can be fairly called a Kickstarter of the P2P lending market. The app significantly simplifies the process of borrowing money from friends and family by eliminating all the weirdness of asking. Helping each other out was never easier.
The story started 18 months ago, when Adam Neff and Luke Weber decided to create a solution for their investors to keep track of receivables within personal networks. It was a problem because they played a lot of poker and it was just absurd to keep track of six figures in the notes or spreadsheets. Over time, the idea evolved into what it is now. Ledge is for people who need to temporarily borrow some money from friends and family in an easy way as well as for those who want to keep track of their personal network debts automatically and eventually get paid back.
The new app freely available on the App Store and Google Play offers an easy and seamless way to borrow money from peers and family, solving the problem of awkwardness of asking. As stated on the website of the company, Ledge is a social finance platform that empowers borrowers to crowdsource personal loans from their network. Ledge brings the crowdfunding model into P2P lending allowing more than one person to lend you money. The app is adopting Kickstarter and Indiegogo models in order to make it easier for users to ask for money without having to actually ask. With the Ledge app you can create a campaign with a certain interest rate, the time to pay back and then share your campaign with friends and family. After your pledgers back the campaign, your loan period starts. The app automatically calculates how much you need to pay back to each lender and transfers a certain amount from your bank account to each lender on a monthly basis.
The benefits that Ledge offers include absence of any hidden fees whatsoever. Borrowers can borrow up to $5000 with any interest rate for up to 6 months. with a simple process of sharing with friends directly or through social media. Dedicated to users’ security, the Ledge team claims that the app is designed from the ground up to protect personal data.
Certainly, there are other tools in the market to make P2P lending easier (Lending Club, Prosper, etc.), but Ledge has significant advantages that are worth mentioning. It allows lenders to deal with each other directly without intermediaries taking a part of the interest. Flexibility is another benefit of using the app. The campaign originator can choose the interest rate and time frame keeping in mind what would be affordable. In addition, Ledge allows you to tap into your personal network for temporary debt without having to deal with institutions. Moreover, there is no need to borrow from a single person anymore. Several people from your network can contribute to the campaign. It decreases the risk for each lender and makes it easier to lend only a part of the whole sum required.