Peer to peer lending service Lending Club will close a $10.26 million series A round of financing from Norwest Venture Partners and Canaan Partners tomorrow. This comes a few months after the company’s $2 million angel round. Coinciding with the investment, Jeff Crowe and Dan Ciporin (former ceo of shopping.com) are joining Lending Club’s board of directors.
Similar to other P2P lending sites (Prosper, Zopa, Kiva), LendingClub matches borrowers and lenders. However, LendingClub doesn’t work through their own website, but solely through Facebook on the application they launched at the F8 platform launch conference. Borrows and lenders a linked up using their “LendingMatch” system, which recommends loans based on credit and their social relationships to each other. The idea being that trusted relationships make lending more likely and defaults less likely. The application currently has over 13,000 installs.
Unlike Prosper, interest rates aren’t determined through bidding, but calculated based on the borrowers credit score, debt to income ratio, and amount of the loan. There are no hidden fees, and the interest rate is fixed for three years. In July the service surpassed $500K in loans. They recently claimed a little more than 4 out of 5 loans get funded and haven’t reported any defaults or late payments.
It’s still the early days for this industry, and as TC commenters point out, it’s very much a case of Caveat Emptor.