Last month we wrote a short article, What is Loanio?, about the new peer to peer lending startup Loanio. At the time, it was pretty clear that there is very little information available. About the best we could do was a whois lookup to discover who registered the domain name loanio.com. Although Loanio has done some limited advertising, they have been very reluctant to publicly release any information ahead of their launch which is expected this fall.
Michael Solomon, a New York lawyer, is the CEO and founder of Loanio and has agreed to share some information about Loanio with our readers. Solomon currently runs a fiancée visa attorney and marriage visa practice in New York City. In addition, he is the part owner and founder of Omnilaw Legal Plans, Inc. which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. He has a Law Degree from Brooklyn Law School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a member in good standing with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and The New York State Bar.
Loanio will launch this fall and be focused on the United States. In addition, Loanio is working with some overseas partners and is expected to expand internationally in late 2008. Michael Solomon shared the following information about Loanio:
What inspired you to create Loanio?
"For the last 10 years, I have been running a company that provides over 4 million employees and families with legal and financial assistance. I have seen my share of ugly, unfair and/or lack of credit issuance and the inherent debt problems often associated with it. The idea of "leveling the playing field" by leveraging the internet is a powerful and socially conscious one that appeals to me. I have done lots of traveling in South America and for about 4 years I have been following the great things that have been happening with advances in the world's microfinance markets. In many other third world countries, great things are also being accomplished. A few years ago when peer lending started to show up on the internet, it got me thinking and wondering about other possibilities. It seemed only natural that the now emerging market of peer lending would evolve to where it is and where it is going now is something very exciting and some place I want to be."
When do you expect to launch?
"Fall 2007. While I prefer to leave the particulars out right now, I will say that we are building a platform that we believe will foster more loan originations (than other current platforms) with the possibility of greater security and probably make more "lenders and borrowers" very happy."
If you are interested, you can sign up on Loanio to receive an email when they are ready to launch.
Update (9/10/2008): Loanio screenshots