A common question in the marketplace lending industry is what needs to happen for the industry to really hit its stride and reach massive scale. This is more important today since getting a loan online is becoming ubiquitous. On the consumer side there certainly needs to be more education but on the funding side platforms need to engage the largest investors in the world. LendIt Co-Founder Jason Jones touched on this in a recent post on engaging the gatekeepers and educating them on marketplace lending.
According to the announcement from Aegon and Auxmoney, the funds will be deployed over the next 3 years. Aegon also lead a new €15 million Series E investment in the company.
While the amount was a surprise, it was not unexpected that Aegon would expand their footprint in marketplace lending. Insurance companies, particularly those in Europe, have a problem. They desperately need fixed income yield but many of the traditional avenues have yields close to zero. This will not likely change any time soon in Europe.
Large firms such as banks, insurance companies, pensions etc. are going to increasingly play a role in the marketplace lending industry. It remains one of the best fixed income alternatives. I believe this is just the start of many deals that will eventually be announced as firms like Aegon become aware of the value that many marketplace lenders offer.