We’re pleased to announce that our CEO, Renaud Laplanche, was yesterday named a winner of Ernst & Young’s Venture Capital Award of Excellence. The EY Venture Capital Award of Excellence honors outstanding entrepreneurs who have benefited from venture capital funding. The winners were selected out of 50 nominees by an independent panel of judges, comprised of four leading venture capitalists from across the country based on factors including VC funding, equity and revenue growth, earnings, margins, and their founding stories.
Renaud was one of six winners of the award, alongside the founders and co-founders of Indeed, SkinMedica and Workday, Inc. He will accept the award at the EY Strategic Growth Forum and National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program in Palm Springs, Calif.
Our appreciation to Ernst & Young for recognizing Renaud’s leadership of Lending Club with this prestigious award.
||We received some great news on Saturday evening: Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche was named the winner in the financial services category of the 2013 Northern California Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.
Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award recognizes the significant contributions of entrepreneurs who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. The awards program recognizes high-growth entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
The finalists and winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and honored at a gala event at The Fairmont in San Francisco on June 22nd. Renaud will now go on to compete for the National Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall Award, which will be announced in November.
We’d like to thank Ernst & Young for this great honor!
In an era of social networks and blissful sharing over open platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, we have grown accustomed to sharing more about ourselves. At Lending Club we embrace new technologies and open communication, but also provide a financial service that calls for a higher level of privacy and identity protection.
Lending Club investors have the ability to ask questions of potential borrowers before committing investments into their loans. This ability has raised concerns in terms of protecting the privacy and identity of both borrowers and investors. These concerns led us to adjust our Q&A mechanism for the benefit of both borrowers and investors.
Starting tomorrow, investors will only be able to ask questions from a predefined set that was created based on the most frequently asked questions logs over the last 2 years and reviewed and edited by our compliance team. As an investor, feel free to submit additional questions that you would like to see added to list to email@example.com.
As always, your comments are welcome as we continue to make improvements to our platform.
Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee.
We’ve been hearing much about quantitative easing recently. What exactly is quantitative easing, and more importantly what does it mean for you as an investor?
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce a second round of quantitative easing (dubbed “QE2”) at its next meeting on November 3. Quantitative easing means that the Fed, which can no longer lower interest rates –which are already close to 0% - to stimulate growth, will inject more liquidity into the economy by buying government debt and mortgage-backed securities. The notable difference between QE2 and the previous round of quantitative easing implemented earlier this year is that the Fed might also buy corporate debt this time around.
The likely impact of another round of quantitative easing is higher bond prices and lower yields. Historically, the role of fixed income instruments such as corporate bonds and the Prime Consumer Notes offered by Lending Club was to offer a dampener to overall portfolio volatility, while also providing investors with sufficient current income to either reinvest or spend. However, today’s world offers very little in terms of current income given historically low rates. Your return from many fixed income instruments, such as bond mutual funds, is now heavily dependent upon future price appreciation/depreciation, rather than current income.
Yields on most fixed income instruments were already near all-time lows and the next wave of quantitative easing will likely result in even lower yields. So, where can fixed income investors go to get yield?
In the chart below you can see a traditional fixed income yield spread analysis that highlights the BA Merrill Lynch High Yield Master Index, Lending Club Notes, and U.S Treasuries (3-5 year durations). The Treasuries are represented here as the baseline. What the data show is that spreads on high yield corporate bonds have fallen a great deal and are now back to pre-crisis levels, while the spreads on Lending Club’s notes remains very large.
Today, Lending Club has lowered rates on its personal loans in response to the overall economic environment, and in an effort to continue attracting prime and super-prime borrowers, who typically make decisions based on rates and monthly payments. Even after taking into account today’s rate reduction, the yield spread on Lending Club’s Prime Consumer Notes remains near all-time highs. Our Notes also offer a relatively unique opportunity to earn current income in today’s market.
Our friends at Foundation Capital invested quite a bit of money in our company this morning, and were joined by existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Canaan Partners.
Besides bringing our team the pleasant feeling of waking up with an extra $24.5M in our bank account, the additional resources will be helpful in many ways. This investment will help us complete new projects faster, including new loan products for borrowers, new investment tools for investors, a series of improvements to our website (including performance improvements, thank you for your patience) and other enhancements that will continue to make your Lending Club experience increasingly more rewarding. The funds will also help us expand our reach to a larger pool of customers and continue growing our community.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our shareholders for their enthusiastic support, and thank you our members who have grown the Lending Club community at an incredibly fast pace over the last 12 months, increasing our monthly loan volume from $2.3M in February 2009 to $8.6M in March 2010 to capture 79% of the US peer lending market last month.
So the day started quite well here. How’s your day going? Leave us a comment.