Podcast 12: Alex Tonelli of Funding Circle on Small Business Lending

Funding Circle logo

Alex Tonelli is the Founder and Managing Director of Funding Circle USA. He started Endurance Lending Network with Sam Hodges back in 2012, which I profiled here last summer, and this company merged with Funding Circle UK in October last year.

This discussion is all about small business lending. In the online space, small business lending is several years behind consumer lending and there are no players with long track records like Lending Club and Prosper. But the longest track record belongs to Funding Circle, who have been in business since 2010. With the merger last year, the small business lending space in this country gets to benefit from the knowledge and history of this leading player.

In this podcast you will learn:

  • How the merger with Funding Circle UK has been going.
  • How close the underwriting model and metrics are between the UK and US markets.
  • An explanation of their business model.
  • The biggest difference between Funding Circle USA and their UK counterpart.
  • The interest from investors in both markets.
  • The type of small businesses applying for a loan at Funding Circle.
  • Why banks are not doing their job when it comes to small business lending.
  • The loans terms and interest rates that are available at Funding Circle.
  • Why the loan sharks are so bad for small business lending.
  • The two main ways that Funding Circle attracts borrowers.
  • How banks and Funding Circle are going to start working together.
  • The tiny fraction of loans that have gone delinquent at Funding Circle.
  • What their investor marketplace will look like when it launches for accredited investors.
  • The importance of growing predictably and responsibly.
  • Their loan volume projections for 2014.
  • How they feel about Lending Club entering the small business lending space.
  • The differences between the Funding Circle and Lending Club offerings.
  • Who the real Goliath is in the lending industry today.

You can subscribe to the Lend Academy Podcast via iTunes or Stitcher. There is an audio player directly below or you can download the MP3 file here.

  • Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events 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. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.

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