Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zensah fuels growth with Lending Club loan

PLR has decided to profile Peer to Peer users on a regular basis. Our first such profile is the athletic-wear company Zensah, which was founded in January 2004 in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Zensah is a privately held company which develops high-end performance clothing for runners, cyclists, tri-athletes and other serious athletes. They count among their customers MLB and NBA professionals. Their designs feature seamless technology. The name itself comes from the Italian word sensa meaning “without seams” to symbolize athletes without limits.

Zensah took out a loan for $12,250 at 10.59% with Lending Club to fund some growth. They were able to repay the money within six months, despite having been turned down for a conventional business loan by banks.

Ryan Oliver from Zensah says they learned about P2P lending from reading an article about the process, and found Lending Club very easy, and even says his loan was funded within a week. At the time of their Lending Club loan, they had also considered using Prosper.com, but he described the process as “too bureaucratic” and did not proceed with Prosper. He also says he would definitely recommend P2P borrowing for other companies looking to grow—he even says he wishes larger business loans were available—in the $100-$250,000 range.

I asked Ryan if P2P borrowing was part of a larger social media plan, and he replied that it isn’t now, but if they had a dedicated social media plan, it could be a component.

Jessica Ward is a freelance writer based in the Seattle area. Her work can also be seen at www.jessicaward.me

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