Lenddo Grabs $8M, Expands Microloan Model to Asia and Latin America

New York-based Lenddo, which uses social media to help middle-class folks in emerging countries secure loans, announced today that it has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round. Investors include Accel Partners, Blumberg Capital, Omidyar Network, iNovia Capital, and Metamorphic Ventures. The one-year-old firm also counts among its supporters angel investors Geoff Judge, David Kidder, Scott Heiferman, and Barry Silbert.

Lenddo is like a traditional bank crossed with Facebook. Individuals in need of capital can sign up on Lenddo’s site, invite their co-workers and acquaintances to join, then “friend” them just like they would on a social-media site. As they gather more and more friends on Lenddo, they build their “reputation score,” which is the the metric Lenddo uses to determine their credit-worthiness. The Lenddo platform also ties in with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Lenddo was founded by Jeffrey Stewart and Richard Eldridge, who were inspired by the lending models of the early 1900s, when the ability to get a loan hinged on one’s standing in the local community, rather than on one’s credit score. The startup was part of the inaugural FinTech Innovation Lab, a new 12-week program sponsored by the New York City Investment Fund and Accenture that’s designed to foster innovation in financial-services technology.

The site’s membership doubles every few months and Lenddo now has registrants in 35 countries, according to its website. It currently markets microloans in the Philippines and Columbia, and the company said today it plans to use the new capital to expand into more emerging markets, including those in Asia and Latin America.

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