In an interview on CNBC last week Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein shared some news about their consumer lending platform. He said that Marcus had already crossed $1 billion in total loans issued and was on track to cross $2 billion by the end of the year.
Having launched in October 2016 Marcus crossed $1 billion in just eight months. For the online lending industry that is truly breathtaking speed. And it got me wondering. How does that speed compare to many of the industry leaders we know today?
Now, before I present this research let me say one thing. While it is an interesting data point, the speed at which a platform reaches $1 billion in total loans issued it is not an indicator of how successful a platform will become. Clearly, there are many other factors that are more important than speed of growth.
Anyway, I did a little digging and through publicly available information I was mostly able to figure out how quickly many of the major platforms reached their first billion in total loans issued. While the data here may not be exact I am confident it is close and the order is correct.
1. Marcus – 8 months
Marcus has something of an unfair advantage given that it has access to the many billions of dollars sitting on the balance sheet of its parent company, Goldman Sachs Bank. It did not need to secure outside capital to fund its loans and is able to grow as fast as the company wants.
2. SoFi – 14 months
SoFi made its start with its student loan refinance product, a category it invented but in this article we are looking only at personal loans. SoFi launched a personal loan product in February, 2015 and while they never publicly disclose the breakdown of their business lines we can glean enough information from its securitizations to make an educated guess as to when they reached $1 billion in total loans funded. Based on data from Kroll Bond Rating Agency, we know that by August 1, 2016 (when the SCLP 2016-2 securitization closed) SoFi had issued at least $1.3 billion in loans based on the loan pool balance of their first three personal loan securitizations. Based on that data I estimate they crossed the $1 billion mark around April of 2016, 14 months after they launched the product.
3. Marlette – 17 months
We first wrote about Marlette back in June of 2015. Back then they had been in business just 15 months with the Best Egg brand having made their first loan in March 2014. In those 15 months they had reached $800 million, taking just five months to go from $400 million to $800 million. So, most likely by August they had crossed the billion dollar mark. [Read more…]