The rise of peer-to-peer lending


Traditional banks make money by issuing loans to borrowers. Now ordinary people have the opportunity to do the same. Currently, one of the fastest-growing industries is peer-to-peer lending, which involves offering loans to strangers over the internet and trusting that they’ll pay back with agreed upon interest. The peer-to-peer lending space is currently exploding at an exponential growth rate with over $1 billion in venture capital poured into various startups. Popular players in this field include Zopa, Lending Club and Prosper. Funding Circle and OnDeck also issue small business loans through their marketplaces. Lending Club is the largest of them all. Founded in 2006, Lending Club has issued more than $4 billion in personal loans since 2007. In August, the company filed for an IPO with a fundraising target of $692 million, valuing the company at around $4 billion. OnDeck Capital, also filed for an IPO in November. Last week, AvantCredit, an online personal loan lender based in Chicago, secured a $225 million Series D from a consortium of investors. Markets are beginning to embrace non-bank lending services and this will present a new and real threat to traditional banks’ business models.

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