By Linda O’Flanagan
Forget reality television’s Pawn Stars, real estate now has its own pawnbrokers who’ll swap your family silver for cold, hard cash.
Less than two months after its launch in the US, borro has established itself in the new and emerging category of personal asset lending.
In the month of March, borro, headquartered at 767 Third Avenue, exceeded $1 million dollars in loans to cash-strapped executives in need of short-term financing.
One local consultant traded a Picasso pencil sketch valued at $12,000 for $7,000 that he could use to ease a cash crunch. “My experience with borro was nothing short of perfect,” said the executive, identified only as “M” by borro.
“An appointment was made the very same day I called and everyone I worked with was extremely knowledgeable and highly professional.”
As a result of his positive experience, M has since gone back to borro and is now working with them to secure a personal loan against a collection of fine watches.
“Naturally, we are very pleased with the success we have seen in such a short time,” said borro’s CEO Paul Aitken. “We find that many people who come to us need to realize business opportunities quickly, and we provide them with access to immediate funding within 24 hours, and with no credit checks.”
Founded in the UK in 2008, borro offers individuals the ability to take out loans against high-value personal assets such as luxury cars, antiques, fine art and jewelry, for the highest possible values, as determined by expert appraisers.
The company doesn’t carry out credit checks and promises money within 24 hours. The process starts either online or in-person and borro will lend upto $1 million, depending on the asset.
The rise in online pawn brokerage has been attributed to the global recession and a lending pullback by banks. In its first four month in business, borro doubled its loan book and attracted investment from Augmentum Capital, European Founders Fund, Eden Ventures and Octopus Investments.
“More people are realizing that they hold a wealth of assets that they can use to access finance – either to fund a business opportunity like the majority of our customers do or to cover temporary cash flow issues,” Aitken added.
boro can complete a transaction entirely online and via specialist courier or in person at its Manhattan appraisal center. They will even schedule a home appointment for some assets.
All assets are stored in secure and insured vaults or specialty premises, provided for by borro, which is licensed by the City of New York under the Collateral Loan Brokers Law, Article 5 of the New York General Business Law, license number 1412743.