26 July, 2021

The Online Borrow

Private moneylending has always had its risks. So what about when it’s online?

Indie Bankers
The team of P2P website Lendbox in their office in Delhi
Photograph by Sanjay Rawat
The Online Borrow

Earlier this year, Bhanu (full name withheld), a resident of Hyderabad, was desperate to get a fresh loan to pay the EMI for his house as defaulting ano­ther month would mean having to relinquish the house he had bought just a year ago with his wife. Not knowing what to do, he googled “easy ways to raise money” and chanced upon a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform called I-lend.

I-lend is among the several websites that have emerged in India over the past few years offering a platform to connect individuals who can borrow and lend money to each other at rates less than what is charged by credit institutions such as banks or NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies).

With the e-commerce boom, entrepreneurs are looking to explore new ideas of utilising the internet, and peer-to-peer lending websites have generated quite a lot of interest in the country. The model is still fairly new—just about three years old—and yet in the past year alone, 20 home-grown startups have emerged on the scene, taking the tally to 30. Yet, there is a catch. The...

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