In a recent report from SecondMarket, Lending Club, a personal loans and peer-to-peer investing site, made the short list of “Rising Stars,” or private companies with the most increase in watchers quarter-on-quarter with 145 people signaling their interest in snatching up stock. Considering the San Francisco start-up’s big news today, the number of private share peeping Toms is likely to go up.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Union Square Ventures led a $25 million round in Lending Club, raising the company’s v$80 million valuation from last year to $275 million post-money. On A VC, Fred Wilson said the money came from USV’s new Opportunity Fund for start-ups that have moved past the early stage. (Lending Club was founded in 2007).
Mr. Wilson said USV has been watching peer-to-peer lending marketplaces for about five years, but finally found its entry point with Lending Club, which has been able to “innovate by delivering better risk assesment and mitigation which has led to better returns for lenders.” The investment is tied to USV’s affinity for marketplaces.
“We love marketplaces at USV. They are a special category of large networks of engaged users that monetize extremely well and take advantage of the web natively and powerfully.”
Other marketplaces USV has invested in include Etsy, Shapeways, and Word Market.
Now please excuse us, we have to go start a Lending Club account to see if anyone wants to help us pay off our student loans. Can’t promise it’s not a risky investment.