Several platforms made significant funding announcements immediately before and during LendIt
Several platforms made significant funding announcements immediately before and during LendIt

LendIt’s significance seen in number of launches

It is said Helen of Troy was the face that launched a thousand ships. At this pace LendIt will be soon known as the conference that launched a thousand new products, services and tweaks.

The big news was the announcement of a strategic partnership between Prosper and OnDeck. Building upon an existing referral arrangement a joint release stated the two companies will be “will be close, integrated partners in the peer-to-peer space.”

“This partnership gives Prosper Marketplace’s customers access to more options for credit now
and creates a great platform for the future,” Prosper CEO Aaron Vermut said. “We are excited to be partnering with OnDeck, who has the most scale and experience in online small business lending, to provide solutions for our customers that are looking for loans for their small businesses.”

Lendit's significance in the alt-fi industry is evidenced by the number of companies choosing the event to make major announcements

“OnDeck is 100% focused on helping small businesses meet their capital needs,” OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow added. “Our partnership with Prosper Marketplace, a like minded technology innovator, will enable us to offer more small businesses a seamless experience to meet their financing needs.”

Marketplace launches were popular.

Chicago-based Avant, who this month opened a Los Angeles office, introduced Avant Institutional Marketplace, a program which allows institutional investors to purchase Avant-originated loans.

“Avant is driving changes for the lending industry and has demonstrated a strong track
record of excellence,” says Michael O’Donovan, Managing Director of KKR, one institution purchasing the loans. “We support Avant’s dedication to innovation in this emerging market and, we believe the Avant Institutional Marketplace will deliver attractive, risk-adjusted returns to our investors.”

New York-based Credibility Capital is the latest platform to offer small business loans to companies no longer welcome at banks. Its Credibility Capital Risk Score uses a range of data to assess risk, assign rates and match borrowers with lenders.

“We are filling a void in the small business financing landscape that took shape in 2008 with the pullback of bank lending,” said Brett Baris, President of Credibility Capital. “Because of our partnership model, we can drive down borrower acquisition costs and pass on the savings to
small businesses while at the same time delivering an attractive return to our institutional investors.”

Herio Capital emerged from a private beta period where they funded more than $1 million in loans. Their proprietary underwriting algorithm  assesses credit risk through the analysis of thousands of unique data points.

Customer experience manager CMC unveiled their Web Content Management System and Responsive Web Design which seek to improve the CredAgility Customer Experience Management Platform. These features allow CMC clients to personalize customer web experiences.

“Customers now expect tailored and customized interactions across multiple channels, all relevant to their needs and circumstances,” CMC CEO Vytas Kisielius said. “This means significant improvement to marketing efforts and ROI, but it also means our clients’ customers are finding the sort of experiences they deserve.”

Other platforms announced databases designed to help investors navigate the different alt-fi investment options.

Investment and analytics platform Orchard Platform unveiled the Orchard Manager Database (OMD). The OMD allows institutional investors to research multiple marketplace lending investment managers in one place. The user can view information such as fund size, portfolio leverage, originator counterparties, and sub-asset class diversification.

Users also have access to the Orchard US Consumer Marketplace Lending Index, which tracks the aggregate performance of loans to consumers originated and funded on eligible US-based online lending platforms.

“Orchard’s distinctive position in the center of the marketplace lending ecosystem partnering with institutional investors, investment managers, and originators has uniquely enabled us to innovatively connect all three groups helping each achieve their respective objectives,” said Orchard CEO Matt Burton.

Investment and analytics platform NSR Invest introduced its Advisor Portal, which seeks to aid individual investors who can lose out to hedge funds and other institutional investors as they seek marketplace lending investment opportunities.

“Marketplace lending was quickly dominated by large institutional investors, yet we believe that it is in the industry’s best interest to have a diversified mix of investor types, which will enhance the sustainability of the industry,” said Bo Brustkern, Co-Founder & CEO of NSR Invest. “The retail channel is highly attractive, but it is more difficult to aggregate because of its highly fragmented nature. We believe that this problem can be solved through first-class technology and exceptional client service.”

Two companies announced improvements to existing offerings.

Latin American platform Afluenta introduced the fourth version of its online lending platform which seeks to solidify Afluenta’s position as Latin America’s leading P2P platform. The site has more than 2.5 million visits and has issued more than 100,000 fractional loans.

Fintech and data company AmeriMerchant launched Version 2.0 of their online application form that gives SMB’s real-time decisions. The new version features added customization capability, enhanced security functionality and access to a proprietary underwriting and scoring model.

“With the updates to our online application, financial institutions and marketplace lenders now have
access to a robust platform for them to invest with that can produce attractive yields for investors,” AmeriMerchant CEO David Goldin said.

Learn more about Avant:

Avant attracts institutional investors

Avant announces expansion, rebranding and acquisition

Avant profile

Learn more about Afluenta:

Afluenta launch description

Learn more about AmeriMerchant:

AmeriMerchant profile