Warren Buffett Makes A Huge Investment in Lending Club

[Update: The following story is not true. Warren Buffett has not made an investment in Lending Club. So if you are just stumbling across this article you should keep in mind that it was published on April 1st.]

Big news out of Lending Club this morning. The world’s leading investor, Warren Buffett, has invested $150 million in to Lending Club for a 10% ownership stake that values the company at a whopping $1.5 billion.

This is a coup for Lending Club in so many ways. Buffett is simply the biggest name in investing today and brings with him unparalleled knowledge and experience. There is no one with more finance credibility and this will certainly help raise the profile of both Lending Club and p2p lending worldwide.

This is not Buffett’s first foray into financial services. His company, Berkshire Hathaway has a large stake in American Express, MasterCard, US Bank as well as his new stake in Goldman Sachs that was announced just last week. Clearly, with his latest investment he is aligning himself with a company that could well be at the heart of financial services in the future.

The last cash infusion that Lending Club received was back in June of last year and that valued the company at $540 million. Buffett’s investment means that the value of Lending Club has tripled in less than a year. Given that he is known as the consummate value investor Buffett must believe that at a $1.5 billion valuation Lending Club is still a bargain.

Lending Club has agreed to expand their board from their current eight members to nine to allow Buffett a seat. That is a no-brainer; you want this guy in your board meetings.

I have reached out to the office of the Oracle of Omaha for comment but have not heard back as of this writing. If I ever hear back I will update this post.

photo credit: Fortune Live Media via photopin cc

Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech.

LendIt Fintech conducts three conferences a year for the leading fintech markets of the USA, Europe, and Latin America. LendIt also provides cutting-edge content all year long via audio, video, and written channels.

Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series.

Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.

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Greg
Greg
Apr. 1, 2013 4:14 am

I call April fool!

The sage would never take a board seat on such a small investment.

writing2reality
Apr. 1, 2013 6:38 am

Haha good stuff Peter! 🙂

Happy April Fools to you as well!

Fred
Fred
Apr. 1, 2013 9:30 am

You got me 🙁

Dan B
Dan B
Apr. 1, 2013 5:59 pm
Reply to  Peter Renton

Interested in it? I wouldn’t be surprised if he barely knows what it is.

Neal S.
Neal S.
Apr. 1, 2013 10:30 am

Dang. Hook, line and sinker.

Meggie
Apr. 1, 2013 5:42 pm

Read at 4am after being up all night and totally bought it. Nice work.

Mike
Mike
Apr. 1, 2013 5:54 pm

Got me too!

Dan
Dan
Apr. 1, 2013 6:24 pm

Didn’t fool me one bit. Not even close but thanks for the laugh. 😉

Chris
Chris
Apr. 1, 2013 8:42 pm

You got me haha. Happy April Fools Day.

Kowser
Apr. 1, 2013 11:05 pm

I’ll scour all of Denver to find you!

Martin
Apr. 6, 2013 1:17 pm

This is a great article. I am still drying my tears. Good Fools day post. Love it!

Dividend Growth Investor
Apr. 6, 2013 8:16 pm

That is a great April Fool’s day joke. I sincerely wish you that one day the joke is on you, and Berkshire Hathaway does invest in LC .

Dividend Growth Investor