Money and Friends

Got a Social Media Profile? Get a Microloan from Lenddo, Which Just Snagged $8 M. for International Expansion

Mr. Stewart. (LinkedIn)

Letting a bank sniff around your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles in order to decide whether to give you a loan? Sounds more than creepy to Americans. But in some parts of the world, being able to get credit based on a social media profile is a miracle. Lenddo, a New York-based startup that uses social media profiles to determine creditworthiness, has been giving out microloans in the Philippines and Columbia based on nothing more than the debtor’s social media reputation.

Lenddo has just announced its first significant round of investment. The company snagged $8 million from investors including Accel Partners, Blumberg Capital, and other funds, as well as prominent angel investors including Scott Heiferman of Meetup and Barry Silbert of SecondMarket.  Read More

It's Who You Know

As Banks Start Nosing Around Facebook and Twitter, the Wrong Friends Might Just Sink Your Credit

wonderful life

Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”? Read More