Simplify loans between friends and family

🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: Pigeon

✍️ Notes from the Editors

Welcome to the 87 new readers who joined us last week! We’re excited to have you here, and even more excited to share some incredible companies with you.

Happy Monday! Our cover of Pigeon comes after months of conversations, research, and prep with the team. We first learned about Pigeon after watching its CEO, Brian Bristol, pitch for YC Demo Day W22. Nearly a year later, we’re thrilled to bring Pigeon’s story to our newsletter. It’s especially exciting since Pigeon is officially launching on Product Hunt today—you can find more details and check them out below.

Also, for those of you in LA, we’re hosting our first Unicorner coffee hour this Saturday. All are welcome. We’re hoping to make these a regular event. Swing by, grab a coffee, and take a second to say hi to us and other Unicorner fans. ☕️

A quick note: we’ve been compensated for bringing you this deep dive. That being said, we believe in Pigeon’s mission like any other potential unicorn-to-be that we share with you. Hope you enjoy this week’s article!

- Ethan and Arek 🦄

Simplify loans between friends and family

Pigeon offers a platform for individuals to create and manage loans, taking the awkwardness out of loaning people money. It can be family, friends, or someone you just met. Two individuals can set whatever terms they want, including the principal loan, schedule of repayment, and interest all through its app. With over 20,000 users, loans are fully supported by Pigeon; it sends reminders, tracks transactions, generates documents, and provides whatever assistance you need during the lifetime of a loan. Pigeon can be found on the iOS or Android app stores or on its website.

🔗 Check it out: usepigeon.io

Pigeon is live on Product Hunt! 🚀

Have questions for the Pigeon team? Want to get more details about what their app offers? You’re in luck: the team is launching on Product Hunt today!

Product Hunt is a popular online community where folks showcase their latest products and get helpful feedback. Please take a moment to check them out and offer your comments and support before the end of today. The team will be responding to comments and questions on the hour!

💰 Business Model

Pigeon operates on a freemium model. For loans under $10,000 and terms from 2 to 18 months, the platform is free to use. For loans greater than $10,000 to a $500,000 maximum or a 2 to 84-month term, there are fees associated. These fees are $6/month or $3/month if paid one-time upfront.

📈 Traction and Fundraising

  • Raised $2.5 million seed from Y Combinator, FundersClub, 305 Ventures, The LegalTech Fund, MAGIC Fund, Goodwater Capital, Mentors Fund, Pareto Holdings, Fox Ventures, and Stonks

  • Participated in Y Combinator W22 batch

  • Provided loan facilitation services for 21,000+ customers and has moved $3.5 million+ in loans to date

👫 Founders

Brian Bristol, CEO (LinkedIn)

Pigeon CEO Brian Bristol originally came up with the idea to make loans easier and less awkward between family members and friends during the pandemic. Bristol wanted to create a loan experience for his family members who were struggling during this time but also wanted a system in place for him to receive his money back in a supportive way that didn’t potentially risk his familial relationship. After this initial version of Pigeon was successfully used by his family, the idea came to make Pigeon into a business. Since then, Pigeon has grown to help thousands of people across the U.S. move millions of dollars of loans between friends, family, and loved ones. Before Pigeon, Bristol worked as a Software Engineer at Pinterest and then Intuit; he graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in Computer Science.

💼 Opportunities

Interested in finding your next job? Interested in hiring talent from the Unicorner community?

🔮 Our Analysis

Americans owe $184 billion in loans to their friends and family. This is a massive market for interpersonal loans which depend on connections and trust for lending and ultimately repayment. Oftentimes, these loans are given with loose guidelines and communication of repayment can be awkward and challenging.

Enter Pigeon. Pigeon wants to be the place where individuals borrow and lend money from their family, friends, and colleagues without having to go through an often uncomfortable loan process. It prides itself on being customer-first and providing support to users on its platform, no matter their loan situation. Offering features such as payment reminders and transaction tracking allows lenders to worry less when asking for someone to repay their loan, especially when that person is someone close to you. Pigeon also aims to educate users on the basics of financial freedom like discussions on taxes and other financial services that can benefit their personal finance goals. Throughout its blog, mobile apps, and word-of-mouth marketing, Pigeon aims to grow its customer base in a competitive FinTech environment for short-term loans and community financing. With its oversubscribed seed funding closed and its Y Combinator Demo Day behind, Pigeon is looking to focus on marketing and building new products to capture more of the interpersonal loan market. In the future, Pigeon hopes to be involved in any scenario where money mixes with relationships.

📚 Learn more

Written by Hrishi Jadhav

Before you go, a reminder: be sure to check out and support Pigeon’s Product Hunt launch today!

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