Back in 2003 I started my own domain name lending site at GetFunding.com (I no longer own that domain, but you can see this screenshot of how my site looked). Now there are a bunch of sites like that, such at DomainCapital.com, Intelend.com, and DigiPawn.com, but at the time I was one of the first. I figured since I was buying domain names anyhow, it couldn’t hurt to try to make loans on domains that I would consider “buyable” and then if the borrower defaulted, I would get the domain, if not, I would get a good return on my money. More importantly though, I was trying to create a new online business out of it which hopefully would have some value.
I did not do any advertising for the site, but due to people finding me in the search engines (it was a lot easier to get noticed for free back then), I got some offers from potential borrowers. They were all domains I considered totally worthless though. Not once did anybody offer me a good domain to make a loan on. So, after a year, I gave up and shut down the site.
Recently though, Francois Carrillo, owner of the popular Domaining.com website, started a new domain loan service at Lend.me, but did it in a novel way. Instead of giving out loans himself, his site acts as a bulletin board to match domain borrowers and lenders. It allows people with money to invest to view a list of domain owners looking for loans. It lists the domain name and the loan amount the owner is looking for. An important feature of this service is that it puts the domain name in escrow, so that way the lender is guaranteed to be able to take possession of the domain if the borrower does not pay.
In the short time since it has launched, Lend.me has already closed 3 domain loans, so it seems to be on a path to success.