Online Pawnshop Gets Big Backing

Pawngo, a new online
pawnshop, launched last month, and has received backing from prestigious
venture capitalists.

The Denver-based site, formerly known as Internet Pawn and
Boomerang Lending, describes itself as “the pawn shop reimagined,” and is meant to lessen the “stigma” of the traditional pawn shop experience and possibly attract higher-end customers. It has
received funding from Daylight Partners, Access Venture Partners, and
Lightbank, the $100 million fund started by the founders of Groupon.  

According to the site, it has already loaned more than $1.35
million in 46 states. The minimum loan is $250, and the maximum is $100,000.

The CEO of the company is Todd Hill, who formerly owned a
chain of pawnshops known as Pawn One, which eventually re-branded as Jumping
Jack Cash.

The site lets potential pawners enter a description of their
item, including a digital photo. For jewelry, it asks for number of stones, gems,
stone size, carat, weight, and metals.

Pawngo then sends a preliminary loan offer. If that’s
accepted, the item is Fed Exed for free to Pawngo. Pawngo then makes a formal
offer, which, if accepted, is sent to the person’s bank account. It also can
make an offer to buy the item outright.

As with traditional pawnshops, pawners have to pay off the
loan plus interest before they get the item back.  If not, Pawngo will attempt to resell the
item.