The past few days have been exciting for peer to peer lending - Loanio opened, Zopa closed, Lending Club emerged from their quiet period and Prosper halted lending. There is also big news overseas - Maneo launched the first peer to peer lending platform in Japan.
Over a year ago, Prosper announced plans to expand to Japan. There has been no news from Prosper since. Now that Prosper has entered a quiet period and is distracted with SEC regulations in the U.S., it is unlikely we will hear anything more about Prosper's planned expansion to Japan for some time.
Maneo is actually a play on the English words money and new. Maneo's CEO Tadatoshi Senoo said the platform has been in development since August 2006. Like the United States, Japan has extensive regulatory hurdles which had to be overcome.
Here are details about Maneo from their press release:
How to use maneo's social lending service
After initially registering as a member with maneo, borrowers and lenders can utilize maneo's social networking service. Registered members can easily and effectively communicate with other members utilizing "mane blog," "maneo message," and "mane tomo."
Creating an auction
People who want to borrow on maneo create loan listings explaining how much they desire, why they want to borrow and the maximum interest rate they are willing to pay lenders. Potential lenders select the loan listings they are interested in and bid on these loans. maneo connects borrowers with lenders through an auction process in which the lender willing to provide the lowest interest rate "wins" the borrower's loan.
Members must be between 20-65 years old and reside in Japan.
Borrowers must be between 20-60 years old and have annual income of at least 3 million yen. Borrowers must also successfully pass maneo's credit check and submit the following documentation: proof of identity and annual income.
Lenders must be between 20-65 years old. Lenders must also successfully pass maneo's review process and submit proof of identity.