Peer to Peer Lending
Richard Branson of airline (Virgin Air), music (Virgin Music), mobile phone, (Virgin Mobile) fame announced a foray into the - should we say - virgin territory of P2P lending. This initiative takes advantage of Virgin Group's majority share of CircleLending, a Waltham, MA. firm organized to administer private loans (Mint.com, Wesabe.com, Prosper.com are in similar market). Virgin also in negotiations to purchase the recently troubled lender Northern Rock.
His the emphasis on 'friends and family' lending. We'll see. And the conjunction of banking, mobile devices, deep understanding of the consumer marketplace reminds me of eBay with its subsidiaries of PayPal & Skype, as well as its position as the second largest employer in the USA (if one considers secondary and tertiary (#3) sources of income).
Capital ($) has been mobile for a long while thanks to sophisticated IT systems. Now we are beginning to see the mobility of personal capital due to the ever increasing capability of not so sophisticated mobile devices.
Additional info in 10/15/07 NY Times, section c6. cperrien