This month marks ten years since I made my first investment in what was then called peer to peer lending. In July, 2009 I transferred $500 in to LendingClub to give it a try. Little did I know that first small investment would end up changing my life.
I had first read about peer to peer lending back in 2008 and I was immediately intrigued. I discovered Prosper but when I tried to open an account there they were in a quiet period. So I went looking for an alternative platform and found LendingClub. Within a few months I added $10,000 to that initial $500 investment. Then, I became so enamored with the whole idea of peer to peer lending that I was soon rolling over 401(k) accounts for my wife and I, as well as telling all my friends about it.
It was just over a year later that I decided to start blogging about this industry. Back then no one was writing about it and I really believed the industry had so much potential. So, I started the blog that would become Lend Academy back in November, 2010. The more I learned about peer to peer lending the more convinced I became that it had tremendous potential.
In 2013 as the industry was getting ready to take off I started LendIt, along with my fellow co-founders. It was the first ever conference focused on online lending and the one day event sold out. Then came the go-go years of 2014 and 2015 where dozens of new platforms got under way and venture capital was flowing into the space. The industry had its biggest setback in 2016 with the LendingClub crisis but the strong platforms endured and industry moved to focus on profitability.
Now, as I look back on the last 10 years I see so much has changed. The industry is now known as marketplace lending (thanks to Charles Moldow of Foundation Capital) and it has driven a resurgence in consumer lending and small business lending.
Ten Ways Marketplace Lending Has Changed Since 2009
1. Scale [Read more…]