Boober Italy launched yesterday

In Italy peer to peer lending service launched yesterday. Boober Italy is a joint venture between Centax and Boober International which operates it's service in the Netherlands since February. Boober Italy charges borrowers 19.95 Euro to obtain their credit grade.
So far I could not check all details. The FAQ still has some bugs – some sections still refer to the situation of lending in the Netherlands ("I don't live in the Netherlands – may I still invest")

The launch is almost simultaneous to the launch of Zopa Italy.

Microplace advertising at Technorati

I noticed prominently displayed Microplace ads on today. Not sure if it is really keyword-targeted or rather context targeted. When I did searches on Technorati on Globefunder or Kiva I was shown Microplace ads.

Technorati is an interesting choice for the campaign (if it runs only there – I did not check). Technorati is mainly used by bloggers and journalists. The ads would therefore target not the individual investor but the multiplier who might write about Microplace.
I noted that the ad display is NOT using geotargeting meaning it is not only shown to US residents but to viewer worldwide (only US residents can use Microplace at the moment).

(Sample screenshot after search for globefunder)

(Another sample ad, original is larger and flash animated)

Do not use second loan to pay off first recently allowed borrowers to take out a second loan while the first is still active.

Now Prosper changed the Borrower's Agreement and included the following rule: "You may not obtain a Loan from the Prosper marketplace to pay off an existing Prosper Loan."

The discussion on this change is lively, with many lenders wondering about the reason behind this and how Prosper will enforce this rule. Prosper allows prepayments with no penalty. How will Prosper know where the money for the repayment came from?

A possibility is that Prosper added this clause to benefit from servicing fees longer.

MyC4 adds Kenya

Today the first loan application of a borrower from Kenya was uploaded at Rose Njeri runs a toys and decoration shop and wants a 2000 Euro loan to buy more products in Dubai. The loan term is 9 months, the maximum wanted interest rate is 15.5% (but currently loans at MyC4 all close at lower lender interest rates). Kenya is the third country MyC4 services after Uganda and Ivory Coast. The local partner (provider) in Kenya is Growth Africa.

First law amendment in reaction to peer to peer lending?

The Netherlands will possibly be the first country where a law will be changed in reaction to peer to peer lending. Peer to peer lending in all countries is regulated by national laws but so far these did apply to all financial institutions and did not have specific provisions for peer to peer lending.

Dutch treasury secretary Bos says he sees the need to amend existing laws. In the Netherlands there have been parliament debates and regulation hassles triggered by the launch of p2p lending service in February 2007.

(Sources: 1, 2)