US startup Ledge has launched an app that lets people borrow and pay back money from groups of friends and family through Venmo.
The app, lets users set up a campaign to raise money for specific goals, such as moving to a new city. The borrower sets the amount they need to raise and the interest rate and payback period.
They then share it with friends and family who can pledge a contribution. When the full amount is pledged, the campaign is closed and the money sent to the borrower automatically via Venmo.
The app then manages repayments, automatically calculating how much each lender is owed and transferring money to them each month via Venmo.
Explaining the idea behind Ledge in a blog post earlier this year, co-founder Adam Neff praised P2P lenders such as Prosper but noted that they are "structurally closer to issuing mortgage-backed securities than making a personal loan to a friend, neighbor, or family member".
Meanwhile, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others in the crowdfunding sphere are about donations, rather than loans.
In contrast, Ledge is "a platform that lets your network lend a hand to finance things that are important to you. We empower you to create campaigns for crowdfunding personal loans and provide integrated tools to share them with people who care about you."