When I was in London in March I spoke on a panel at the AltFi conference with Richard Swart, a professor at UC Berkeley. He has become one of the leading academics focused on crowdfunding. We have stayed in regular contact since then as Professor Swart has decided to expand his research to include p2p lending.
This is great news for our industry because there has been virtually no research done in this country and there was no academic that wanted to take the lead here. Professor Swart, his team of researchers at UC Berkeley and I have put together a survey that we will be sending to all major platforms in the coming week.
The goal of this first annual survey is to quantify the broader online lending industry in several ways. Here is the official research description:
We seek to understand transaction size, volumes, and changes in markets for alternative lending. We are seeking aggregate loan or platform activity data that will be anonymized and aggregated so that readers of the final research report will not be able to determine the activity on any particular platform (unless the platform already makes that data public). This analysis includes gathering demographics of users – we seek to understand the demographic profile of users and track activity by metropolitan area. We do not seek personal data about individual loan recipients.
An additional survey will be focused on the self-reported information of small business owners who have taken out loans through online lending platforms. We want to get to the heart of the motivations of business owners to obtain financing and the impact these loans have on their business and the broader community.
Our new industry needs a benchmarking survey so everyone will be able to understand the evolution of online lending and its impact on the financial industry over time. I am honored to be helping out Professor Swart and his team at Berkeley on this important project.
Survey Will Be Open Until August 6th
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We have a very special guest for the 20th edition of the Lend Academy Podcast: Renaud Laplanche, the CEO and founder of Lending Club. I first met Renaud in the spring of 2011 just after Lending Club moved from Redwood City to downtown San Francisco. In those days Lending Club had about 50 people and a lot of extra space on the one floor they leased in that building. Back then, Lending Club was a company with a lot of potential and today they are realizing some of that potential.
Recently I was able to sit down with Renaud for 30 minutes to conduct this wide ranging interview. In this podcast you will learn:
- How Renaud came up with the name Lending Club.
- When he first realized that Lending Club was likely going to be a success.
- What a typical work day looks like for him today.
- What the four key metrics for Lending Club are that Renaud looks at on a regular basis.
- How Lending Club has been able to grow so consistently now for many years.
- How the hiring needs have changed at Lending Club over the years.
- Why Renaud believes it is going to be hard for any investor to beat the averages based on the risk they are taking.
- Why investors needs to be careful when analyzing the historical data to make investment decisions.
- The way that Lending Club thinks about the setting of interest rates.
- The status of the partnership with Union Bank.
- An update on the relationship between Lending Club and Google.
- Why Renaud is very excited about Lending Club’s small business lending operation.
- The possibility for average investors to participate in the Lending Club IPO.
- The role of Lending Club in the future of the broader banking industry.
I have had a few requests from readers for transcripts of these interviews, so starting with this episode every edition of the Lend Academy Podcast will come with the full transcription in a PDF document. Just click on the link below.
Download the transcription of LAP20: Interview with Renaud Laplanche of Lending Club
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