IOU Central appears to be much like Prosper and Lending Club. A borrower can apply for a loan in the amount of $1,000 to $25,000 and for a term of up to 3 years. The lender, on the other hand, can bid on a loan in amounts ranging from $25 to $25,000. One significant difference is IOU Central allows the borrower to choose the term of the loan from 1 to 36 months. There are currently 21 borrowers looking for loans. 11 have received bids so far.
“At its core, IOU Central empowers individuals to be their own banker by giving them a platform to lend money to whomever they want. It’s no longer just your local bank that can earn interest on your deposited money!” said Marleau. “It also gives borrowers an alternative source of funds at competitive rates with no lengthy procedures to go through as are currently required at many traditional financial institutions.”
We expected CommunityLend to be Canada's first P2P lending platform. We first wrote about them last June and then again in December when they secured $2.5 million in funding. CommunityLend's website still reads, "We are moving full speed ahead to make our beta launch available for early 2008 with regulatory work, technical development, and market planning all underway."
Unlike CommunityLend, IOU Central managed to avoid any press until they launched on February 12th. Here's a few links to other articles in the media about IOU Central:
- IOU Central's media page
- Netbanker: IOU Central Launches First P2P Lending Exchange in Canada
- WiseClerk: IOU Central Launches P2P Lending in Canada
- TMCnet: Person-to-person loans finally come to Canada with the first online lending marketplace: IOU Central
- StartupNorth: IOU Central - Canada gets its first Peer to Peer Lending Company
Update (2/22): According to Financial Post, "In its first week of operation, IOU Central's Marleau said they have $10,000 deposited in investor accounts and a total of $75,000 in requests for borrowing."