Last week the p2c (peer-to-company) lending service Funding Community launched. P2P loans in the US so far were done nearly entirely to individuals. Funding Community wants to change that and enable loans to local businesses. Funding Community is open to lenders from most states (and not restricted to accredited investors). All loans are 9 months loans. In addition to interest payments lenders may get rewards from the company (e.g. discounts). One example is a fitness company that offers 9,7% interest plus 2 personal traing sessions as reward.
Note that technically lenders at Funding Community do not lend directly to the company that seeks the loan. Instead, lenders lend to Funding Community, which, in turn, lends money to small companies, including the particular ones the lender selected.
Funding Community states that all loans are secured
The interest rates we provide, as well as a security interest in our assets are designed to decrease the risk to lenders. In addition, we take a security interest in small businesses to whom we make a loan and also generally require a personal guarantor to support repayment. We also set aside a small pool of capital to cover a portion of loans that default. It bears repeating, however, that you may not lend to us or use Funding Community expecting a return or profit. You may only use Funding Community if your primary purpose in making the loan is to help us overcome short-term cash-flow considerations in supporting small business growth in the United States.
For now, Funding Circle started with making loans to businesses located in New York and plans to expand into other areas later.
Funding Community charges companies a 2.5% loan origination fee and lenders a 0.5% service fee.