Brendan Ross is the founder and president of Direct Lending Investments which is the general partner of a fund focused on high-yield, short term small business loans. I am an early investor in Brendan’s fund and last year I profiled Brendan’s fund. His fund has grown a great deal since its launch almost two years ago and is an important part of the marketplace lending ecosystem today.
I talked with Brendan about his fund, small business loans in general as well as his thoughts on the p2p lending space in general. In this podcast you will learn:
- What Brendan liked most about Lending Club when he started investing.
- The other opportunities Brendan considered before settling on small business loans.
- The yield difference between consumer and small business loans.
- When he started his fund and how he was able to convince these platforms to sell him loans.
- The platforms that he is working with today.
- The typical small businesses that his fund invests in.
- The loss rates that his fund experiences.
- How Brendan selects the loans for his fund.
- How his fund is structured.
- Who is investing with Direct Lending Investments and how has the mix changed.
- Why investors like his fund and the net returns he is providing.
- Why he maintains an investor waiting list. [click to continue…]
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Soul Htite (seated in the center in the above photo) is a very brave entrepreneur that has done something remarkable that very few people have ever attempted and even fewer have succeeded. Soul is the co-founder and former Head of Technology at Lending Club. A few years ago, he chose to walk away from Lending Club to launch a new business. The crazy thing is that he chose to launch his business inside of China without knowing how to speak the language and with only a small handful of connections on the mainland.
China is the place where US Internet companies fail. Amazon and eBay tried to enter only to pull out after being outmaneuvered by local companies (hello Alibaba), Google ran into differences with the Chinese government and chose to exit, and Facebook and Twitter were banned pretty much right from the start. So what was Soul thinking he could accomplish as a foreigner entering China to launch a new Internet Finance company? The odds certainly seemed stacked against him.
Soul has proven everyone wrong and with the two announcements earlier this month, he has elevated his company, Dianrong.com, to a new level as one of the most successful young Internet Finance companies in all of China. So how did he do it?
First of all, he made the decision to personally move to Shanghai and build his business organically from within China, making this a Chinese Internet Finance company not a US Internet company. Second, he took on a co-founder, Kevin Guo, who is native to China and has been a great co-founding partner. Third, he built his entire team in Shanghai with people from around the country. Fourth, he embraced technology with greater than 50% of his employees working as developers and engineers. To cap it off, earlier this month Dianrong.com announced two major partnerships with leading Chinese financial services companies that will transform his business and distribute his P2P technology throughout China.
Bank of Suzhou Partners with Dianrong.com to Launch A P2P Bank
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