March 29, 2005

An eBay For Credit? [7:58 am]

Either a Borrower or a Lender Be

What eBay did for buying and selling, Britain’s Zopa hopes to do for lending and borrowing money.

Zopa, which counts Benchmark Capital, the same firm that funded eBay, among its backers, is taking a variant of the auction site’s business model and applying it to put people who want to lend in touch with credit-worthy people who want to borrow.

“For the first time, people who want to lend or borrow money have a real alternative to going to a bank, financial institution or big corporation,” said James Alexander, Zopa’s chief technical officer. According to Alexander, Zopa is not a bank, but an online exchange that gives lenders access to credit-worthy borrowers.

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