Cincinnati-based peer lending technology firm SoMoLend
is up and running with a $1 million-minimum lending commitment from KeyBank.
The Web- and mobile-based service allows small businesses that are credit worthy but may not be eligible to receive traditional bank loans to borrow money today from corporations and lending institutions, and eventually from family, friends, customers and neighbors, at low rates.
“It’s exciting that Cincinnati small businesses will be the first that get to take advantage of the KeyBank loans,” says Candace Klein, CEO and founder of SoMoLend.
“With the launch of the beta version of www.somolend.com
and actual money to borrow, small businesses no longer have to be intimidated by walking through the doors of a traditional bank.”
While Cincinnatians may be the first who get to take advantage of this money, the company has garnered a lot of press both locally and nationwide, including at www.americanbanker.com
and the online Wall Street Journal
“We’ve gained relevance in the U.S. banking world recently, and we truly think we have the technology to change the way small businesses obtain capital,” Klein says.
And although other online loan facilitators have failed to truly change the market, she says, SoMoLend has unique features that will make borrowing and lending money much more personal.
“The mobile and local aspect of our service encourages borrowers and lenders in the same geographic area to connect with one another,” Klein says.
“We have worked hard to offer a service that complies with all current state and federal laws, but we also see significant opportunity for individual lending with legislation currently proposed in Congress,” she adds.
This federal legislation would allow individuals to lend to unrelated but attractive small business requests on the site.
Until that happens, SoMoLend has signed with a second institution, is in active conversations with two more and has begun conversations with local cities and chambers of commerce to lend money to SoMoLend borrowers, creating new revenue for them and also serving their constituents.
SoMoLend was founded in May 2011 with a $470,000 seed-stage investment from CincyTech, Queen City Angels and private individuals.
By Sarah Blazak