Peter is on vacation this week, so I have put together the news roundup. During the week we share the latest marketplace lending news on Twitter as it happens. Then every Saturday we take the most interesting news items and blog posts from the past week and share them here.
The P2P Explosion: Business Models May Change, but Risks Still Need to Be Managed from Global Association of Risk Professionals – Risk professionals are starting to take marketplace lending seriously.
Slides of Keynote Presentations Available Now – LendIt USA form the LendIt Blog – All the presentations from the two main tracks at LendIt USA are now available.
Sam’s Club Adds New Services for Small-Business Owners from Entrepreneur – Sam’s Club has partnered with Lending Club to offer business loans.
Learnings from LendIt USA 2015 from Orchard – Orchard posts learnings from LendIt USA and the state of marketplace lending.
Are We in a Peer to Peer Bubble? from Crowdfund Insider – A look at whether or not we are in a p2p lending bubble.
Funding Circle Raises Another $150 Million from The New York Times – More coverage of the big Funding Circle announcement in The New York Times.
Lending Club feeds growth needs by doubling S.F. office footprint from San Francisco Business Times – Lending Club continues their expansion into new office space.
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Funding Circle is the latest marketplace lender to announce a large financing round. The $150 million equity round was led by DST Global, Ballie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock, Sands Capital Ventures and Temasek. The company also recently crossed $1 billion in originations and are doing $75 million per month across the US and UK.
I spoke with Sam Hodges, co-founder of Funding Circle to learn more about what this means for the company. He noted that the core areas they want to invest in are technology, systems and hiring great people. They also want to add and invest in departments such as data analytics and risk. Although they didn’t need to raise the money as they are substantially well capitalized, Sam said that they saw an opportunity to bring in a great new set of shareholders. This influx of cash and talent to the team will allow them to expand more quickly than planned.
Funding Circle also added some new faces to the team who have backgrounds in technology, small business acquisition and experience at the senior executive level. Chitra Nayak, previously COO of Salesforce’s Platform business will join as COO and David Yu, previously CEO and CTO of Betfair will join Funding Circle as Global CPO.
I also asked Sam about valuation since the round may have pushed them into the $1 billion valuation range, but Sam declined to comment. He was excited to announce the fresh investment and noted that the investors are global, long term equity investors that round out the VCs that have invested already.
This round validates Funding Circle as a major player in the small business lending space as they continue to grow originations exponentially and partner with investors.