It is hard to believe that it was five years ago today that LendingClub went public. December 11, 2014 marked an important moment in fintech history as LendingClub became the first online lending platform to complete a successful IPO. At the following LendIt event held a few months later in NYC there was an incredible enthusiasm for the industry as we all imagined the continued upward trajectory of the industry.
A lot has changed over the years and many are quick to point out LendingClub’s poor performance in the public markets and the LendingClub debacle which was widely reported on back in May 2016. Publicly listed fintech lenders have struggled overall while companies in the payments space such as Paypal and Square have fared much better. Peers who have remained private have had much more success when it comes to valuations which is likely why we haven’t seen many new fintech lending IPOs in recent years. Those who have gone public have tended to perform poorly at least from a stock price perspective. However, there is much more to the LendingClub story. For starters they are the largest personal loan provider in the US having issued over $53 billion in loans, a stat I believe is often overlooked. [Read more…]