Thoughts from Industry Leaders About the Lending Club IPO


This is an exciting time for anyone who follows this industry. It is officially IPO week for Lending Club and it looks like Thursday is going to be the big day.

For retail investors participating in the IPO through the Directed Share Program you should have received an email from Fidelity today. This letter was basically a duplicate of one that was sent out last week, the big difference being that the price range has increased from $10 – $12 a share up to $12 – $14 a share. This morning Lending Club filed the fourth version of their S-1 that reflected this change.

It looks like participants in Fidelity’s Directed Share Program will have a six hour window from 6pm until Midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday evening to confirm their expression of interest. From what I have heard these small windows are pretty typical with IPOs – I have heard some Loyal3 IPOs use a window of just one hour.

I reached out to a number of industry leaders today to get their thoughts on this historic event. Given that Lending Club is the first company to go public in our industry we will never again have an IPO like this one. So I wanted to get a range of perspectives on the record.

Here is what Aaron Vermut, CEO of Prosper has to say:

This is the first online marketplace for credit to go public and an important validation and branding of our industry.  This IPO is going to bring a new level of education, awareness and understanding of alternative lending, and that’s really exciting for all involved.

Sam Hodges, Co-Founder of Funding Circle:

Very few companies today can claim to be disruptive in the strict sense of the word; just because you’re doing something new or better, doesn’t mean you’re disruptive. But Lending Club’s IPO is further validation that marketplace lenders are truly a disruptive force within the banking sector. Banks that don’t embrace the P2P lending revolution will, without a doubt, get left behind.

Mike Cagney, CEO and Co-Founder of SoFi:

The IPO is going extremely well – as seen in the increase in size and price range.  This isn’t surprising, given how well Lending Club has executed to date and how large the market really is.  I think the investment community is starting to realize the next area of hyper growth is going to come from marketplace lenders.

Jon Barlow, CEO of Eaglewood Capital:

It’s a landmark event for the industry because it legitimizes the business model. If they prove that they can go public we will see a flood of capital pour into the sector.

Dave Girouard, CEO and Co-Founder, Upstart:

For years, venture capitalists have been obsessed with enterprise SAS businesses. Lending Club’s IPO is a wake-up call that the opportunity in financial services may be ten times as large. Lending Club will do for this industry what Salesforce did for enterprise SaS.

There has been so much interest in the Lending Club IPO with hundreds of articles written about it recently. I have spoken more with the press in the past month than I have in my previous four years covering this industry. People are finally taking notice of the potential of marketplace lending.

According to CNBC Lending Club will easily be the largest IPO this week and will likely be the biggest tech offering of the year. I will be watching events unfold closely all week. If you want the latest updates then follow the Lend Academy Twitter feed. I will be updating this throughout the week and will likely publish a full post-mortem on Lend Academy on Friday assuming everything runs on schedule.

  • Peter Renton

    Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus, the world’s largest digital media company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series.