Lending Club Corp: The Company behind the Peer to Peer Lending Trend
Lending Club Corp. was at first the second-to-market peer to peer lending company after Prosper.com, but has since overshadowed its competitor and become the dominant player in the peer to peer lending space.
The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. The company’s current chief executive officer is Renauld Laplance. John Donovan is Lending Club’s chief operating officer and Carrie Dolan is the company’s chief financial officer. Scott Sanborn, formerly of Charles Schwab, is Lending Club’s chief marketing officer. The company has a four-person board of directors and a five-person board of advisors.
Lending Club Corp is backed by venture capital. In 2007, the company raised a $10.3 million Series A round led by Venture Partners and Canaan Partners. The company received a $12 million Series B round in March 2009, led Morgenthaler Ventures. The company raised a $24.5 million Series C round in April 2010 led by Foundation Capital and joined by existing investors including Morgenthaler Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Canaan Partners.
On Lending Club’s website, the company describes itself as “an online financial community that brings together creditworthy borrowers and savvy investors so that both can benefit financially. We replace the high cost and complexity of bank lending with a faster, smarter way to borrow and invest… If you’re borrowing, you can apply for a loan and get an instant rate quote…If you’re investing, you can open an account instantly and get started building a portfolio that can earn more than other investments with comparable risk.”
The company also has a secondary note trading platform powered by Foliofn which allows investors to buy and sell their existing notes. The Foliofn trading platform allows investors to have some form of liquidity if they need to liquidate their lending club investment for other purposes.
Lending Club was the first U.S. peer-to-peer lending company to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2008, after the regulator came down on the fledgling peer-to-peer lending industry during the summer of 2008. The SEC had said that peer to peer lending companies, such as Prosper.com and Lending Club, were issuing securities to investors without registering the securities in violation of the Securities Act of 1933. Both Lending Club and Prosper are now in full compliance.
During the month of July, 2010, Lending Club originated $11,517,600 in loans. As of August 2010, Lending Club has funded a total $149,740,875 in loans. Lending Club boasts that it has paid $10,714,350 in interest to its investors since the company began public operations in 2007.