StreetShares, a peer to peer lending marketplace focused on small business loans announced yesterday huge commitments from several investment companies including Direct Lending Investments, Community Investment Management and Eagle Bank Corp. The commitments total more than $200 million of funding for small business loans on the StreetShares marketplace.
StreetShares was formed in 2014 by Mark Rockefeller, an Iraq war veteran and former finance layer, and Mickey Konson who is the former head of small business credit at Capital One. Loans are available to borrowers for up to $50,000. Of interest, is that the investments are focused on veteran-owned small businesses. As a whole, a majority of loans on the StreetShares marketplace are for small businesses owned by U.S. military veterans. You can learn more on our post from last July, when we featured StreetShares on the Lend Academy blog.
We reached out to Jacob Haar who is a managing partner at Community Investment Management for comment:
“Community Investment Management is excited to partner with StreetShares, who combines innovation and experience and aligns their loan products with the long-term interests of the small business borrowers they serve. StreetShares and their focus on military veteran-owned small businesses is a great example of the types of partnerships on which we are focused at CIM. We believe our $60 million transaction with StreetShares represents a compelling financial investment that will generate demonstrable positive impact for borrowers and communities.”
Frequent Lend Academy readers may recognize Direct Lending Investments, which invests in several marketplace lenders and is headed up by Brendan Ross. He had this to say about his firms commitment:
“Marketplace lending is exploding. Our mission is to work fueling healthy small businesses. We are excited about this business partnership with StreetShares and the unique business owners they serve.”
Both Jacob and Brendan moderated panels at LendIt 2014 in San Francisco.
StreetShares offers an interesting twist to traditional small business marketplace lenders. Investors bid on portions of loan requests on the StreetShares marketplace. The lowest bids are then consolidated, which offers the borrower the lowest possible rate.
This announcement comes just following their recent announcement of welcoming Raj Date to their Board of Advisors. Raj Date, is the former Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
While StreetShares is still relatively new, they are off to a great start in this industry. They have set themselves apart from other small business marketplace lenders with their unique auction style of funding loans and paying special attention to veteran owned businesses.