Online Pawn Taking Off

Groupon founders Eric Leftkosky and Brad Keywell are onto the next big thing in e-commerce: pawn shops. Pawngo is aimed at people who need $1,500-15,000.

What's the Latest Development?

Groupon founders Eric Leftkosky and Brad Keywell, who now run an investment group called Lightbank, are onto the next big thing in e-commerce: pawn shops. Lightbank recently led a $2.3 million Series B round for a company that has been renamed Pawngo. Previously called Internet Pawn, Pawngo will give you a valuation for your valuables online rather than making you send them in before hearing what they’re worth. The business model is aimed at people who need between $1,500 and $15,000. Loans are built to last three to six months and Pawngo nets a “monthly option charge” of 3-6 percent per month.

What's the Big Idea?

“There’s nothing shady about using something you already own to get cash quickly,” explains Lightbank founder-in-residence Kevin Leland. “We’ll loan up to $100,000 in 24 hours, which is something no bank would ever do.” Historically, 90 percent of Internet Pawn (Pawngo in an earlier incarnation) users returned to pick their assets up, but eventually if it is a big enough business it may set up an online storefront to sell unretrieved items, Hillis and Leland said.

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