Today Lending Club announced a big new investor on their platform. Peter J. Thomson, a director at Thomson Reuters and chairman of Thomvest, an early stage VC firm, has made a $25 million commitment to Lending Club.
According to the article on Bloomberg this is the largest commitment ever by an individual or institution in Lending Club.
Peter Thomson, director of Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI), is investing in some of LendingClub’s top-rated loans that mature in 36 months, he said in an e-mailed statement. Thomson will invest a total of $25 million, said two people familiar with the matter, who declined to be named because the amount is private.
There is an official press release that states Thomson’s company Thomvest will also take an equity position in Lending Club. It is not clear how much this position is and whether it is included in or in addition to the $25 million amount. We will be able to find out in the next couple of weeks when the SEC regulatory filings are made public.
LC Advisors P2P Lending Funds
What is also interesting to me in this press release is that it is the first public acknowledgement by Lending Club of the existence of their funds run by LC Advisors (a wholly owned subsidiary of Lending Club). These are private funds setup for high net worth individuals and institutional investors as a vehicle to invest in Lending Club notes.
My understanding of LC Advisors is that they run two funds. One is a general fund that invests across all loan grades and the other is a conservative fund that invests just in A and B grade notes. This latter fund, called the Conservative Consumer Credit Fund, is what Peter Thomson has chosen to invest in. Both funds are open to accredited investors in all U.S. states but there is a minimum investment of $100,000.
Now, this $25 million pales somewhat when compared to the $150 million commitment made to Prosper earlier this year but it is still a huge win for Lending Club and for p2p lending in general. Lending Club has broad institutional interest and this public commitment will only add to this interest. Coverage on a major site like Bloomberg.com will help drive individual investor interest as well.
I am always happy to hear about these kinds of institutional investments. After record investor inflows last month I wouldn’t be surprised if Lending Club easily surpasses that record this month.