Maneo Introduces Guaranteed P2P Loan

Maneo introduces guaranteed p2p lending in Japan. On the new “G-Loan” the lender does not need to worry any more about defaults. Minimum investment is only 10,000 JPY (approx. 100 US$). The loans are guaranteed by Orix Credit Corporation which entered into a partnership with Maneo.

The downside is that on “G-Loans” the lender only receives 1.5% interest.

The borrower pays a fixed interest rate, which is set depending on his credit grade:

Borrowers now have the option of selecting a standard loan or a G-Loan. Selecting maneo’s standard loan gives borrowers the opportunity to lower their interest expense if sufficient lenders bid on their loans. In contrast, interest rates on G-Loans are fixed at 7.0%, 8.0%, 9.5%, 11.0% and 12.0% depending on the borrower’s credit rating. According to Tadatoshi Senoo, CEO of maneo, “We believe borrowers who select G-Loans will have an easier time attracting funds from lenders thanks to the guaranty by Orix Credit, and that the liquidity of maneo’s online social lending marketplace will increase significantly as a result, making borrowing at maneo even more attractive.”

In my view the choice whether it is a guaranteed loan or not should not be the borrower’s, but only for the lender to choose when bidding.

With an interest rate of only 1.5% the only merit of this model for lenders is that he can not lose money when bidding on a guaranteed loan.

Maneo launch in Japan today launched the first active p2p lending service in Japan. The service connects lenders (aged 20-65) and borrowers (aged 20-60). Maneo verifies the identity, credit grade and the income of potential borrowers (minimum annual income required is approx. 30,000 US$). Borrowers then create a loan listing and set a maximum interest rate. Lenders can bid on the loan through an auction process.

For information about Maneo’s funding see the earlier coverage: “Maneo to introduce p2p lending in Japan

Maneo screenshot date 10/15/2008

Maneo to introduce p2p lending in Japan aims to be the first active p2p lending service in Japan. Their mission statement (from a press release):

maneo Inc. plans to offer a user friendly and highly secure online community for people to borrow and lend money through an online auction system. maneo is about helping people lend and borrow money with each other, sidestepping the expense and inconvenience of traditional banks and consumer finance companies. People who want to borrow money register with maneo and create loan listings. Potential lenders register with maneo and bid on the loan listings they are interested in. maneo aggregates the bids with the lowest rates to fund the relevent loans and handles all of the administrative matters relating to the loans

Maneo received venture capital from J-Seed Ventures Inc. and Yasuda Enterprise Development Co., Ltd. The last funding round was in April 2008 for 80 million Yen (approx. 0.75 million US$). The first funding round was in April 2007.

The company website currently says “Coming in Summer 2008”. Zopa and Prosper also have announced plans for Japan, but no launch date has been set so far.

(Sources/further reading: 1, 2, 3 – all in japanese)

maneo screenshot date 08/01/2008