The People’s Response to the Credit Crunch: Lending Club Members Issue $1 Million in Loans and Company Launches New Community Website
People-to-People Lending Service expands beyond Facebook, Invites Lenders and Borrowers to Come Together and Bypass Banks
SUNNYVALE, CA – September 13, 2007 – Americans are currently facing a credit crisis, and an increasing number are taking advantage of emerging alternatives such as people-to-people lending. Lending Club, the rapidly growing people-to-people (P2P) lending service that launched as a Facebook application in May 2007, today announced the public availability of its services with the launch of LendingClub.com. Lending Club connects lenders and borrowers based upon shared affinities, enabling them to bypass banks to secure better interest rates on loans.
Lending Club is the first in the P2P lending space to help people identify lending and borrowing opportunities using a proprietary affinity-matching technology that looks at factors such as where a person grew up, went to school or what they do for a living, and ensures that they are creditworthy (based on their credit score and other characteristics). The new site, LendingClub.com, introduces tools for building diversified loan portfolios composed of pieces of 20 to 30 individual loans and hosts a forum for financial experts to share their knowledge with the Lending Club community.
“During this credit crunch, people-to-people lending provides a valuable alternative, and keeps money flowing when people need it the most,” said Renaud Laplanche, founder and CEO of Lending Club. “We promote responsible lending and borrowing with fixed-rate installment loans which allow borrowers to pay off 100% of their loan within 36 months. By cutting the banks out, both lenders and borrowers get a better deal and help each other.”
Lending Club launched at the end of May exclusively as a Facebook application. Since then, the Lending Club community on Facebook has grown to more than 15,000 users who have loaned and borrowed more than $1 million among themselves. With the launch of LendingClub.com, the company brings its affinity-based lending services to the broader public, helping to connect borrowers and lenders the same way it did within Facebook.
Lending Club’s proprietary technology, LendingMatch™, helps lenders quickly identify the best loan opportunities based upon personal affinities such as geography, work place, education and associations. LendingClub.com’s LendingMatch sorts among affinity criteria that includes 47,000 US cities; 1,000 companies; 500 government agencies; 6,300 colleges and universities; 1,600 national associations and other organizations; as well as thousands of Facebook groups and networks. The LendingMatch technology allows people to quickly discover previously unknown connections, enabling them to borrow and lend money among trusted sources and rapidly build diversified portfolios.
The new site also includes “Better Rates Together,” a blog community that features expert advice on P2P lending and personal finance.
Lending Club is available to individual borrowers with credit scores at or above 640. Using Lending Club, borrowers can apply for personal loans of $500 to $25,000 to be funded by one or many individual lenders. To date lenders have funded 90 percent of all approved loan requests. Lending Club handles user authentication, bank account verification, credit checking, credit reporting, funds transfers and collections.
Lending Club recently secured $10.26M in Series A financing led by Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.
Thursday, September 13th, 2007 at 2:58 pm