French American entrepreneur Renaud Laplanche founded Lending Club in 2007, wanting to connect investors with borrowers and bypass banks altogether. Since then, the company has facilitated more than $3 billion in loans. As Laplanche is uniquely positioned to speak to the current status of lending to individuals and startups, we’re thrilled to announce that he will be joining us for an onstage interview at Disrupt NY 2014.
To say Laplanche’s path to CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company was unorthodox is a massive understatement. He didn’t attend MIT or Stanford, he didn’t participate in any Y Combinators or hackathons, and his formal education has little to do with what he’s doing now. In his teens, Laplanche was a competitive sailor good enough to win France’s national sailing championships in 1988 and 1990.
From there he went on to briefly practice law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton before launching his first startup, TripleHop Technologies, a search engine for enterprise content that he sold to Oracle in 2005.
After realizing the disparity between credit card interest rates and high-yield certificate of deposit return rates, he founded Lending Club, a person-to-person lending company that’s radically disrupting the individual money-lending industry. Lending Club quickly became synonymous with the P2P lending movement, and despite several new challengers, remains the biggest player in this emerging market. Lending Club is set to go public with a mid-2014 IPO at a multi-billion-dollar valuation.
Laplanche launched Lending Club with Soulaiman Htite in 2007 with over $10 million in Series A funding from Norwest Venture Partners and Canaan Partners. In mid-2013, the company raised $125 million from Google Capital and Foundation Capital on a $1.55 billion valuation as they prepared for their upcoming IPO. Lending Club has raised over $220 million to date according to the company’s CrunchBase page.
Because Lending Club relies on individual investors to back its loans, it can offer both lower interest rates for borrowers and better return rates for lenders than traditional banking institutions. Currently, Lending Club only provides individual loans, and most loan-seekers use funding to either consolidate debt or pay off credit card balances at these lower interest rates. In 2014, Lending Club plans to expand its services to include small-business lending, which will radically change the way small businesses secure funding.
And that’s only the beginning. Laplanche plans to transform the entire multi-trillion-dollar consumer loan market, from mortgages to student loans to car loans and beyond. The market is there, and Laplanche plans to seize it.
This will be Laplanche’s first time on the Disrupt stage. He joins other notable founders speaking at Disrupt NY such as Fred Wilson, Ken Lerer and Secret co-founders, Chrys Bader-Wechseler and David Byttow. More speakers are set to be announced in the coming weeks as Disrupt NY draws near.