The marketplace lending ecosystem continues to develop. Yesterday, LendingRobot announced a significant funding round that will allow it to “improve its service and to accelerate growth” according to their press release. Russian venture capital firm, Runa Capital, led the $3 million round. They have previous experience in this industry through their investment in leading UK P2P lender Zopa two years ago.
Who and What is LendingRobot?
Simply put LendingRobot helps automate your P2P lending investments at Lending Club and Prosper. It is a service designed for retail investors who are looking for an easy way to invest using the APIs of both companies.
I interviewed Emmanuel Marot, the CEO and Co-founder of LendingRobot, back in May of last year on the Lend Academy Podcast. In that interview he described in detail how LendingRobot works and where it fits in the P2P lending ecosystem. Suffice it to say that LendingRobot is an SEC Registered investment advisor that provides individual investors with tools to help select the best loans and invest in these loans the instant they hit the platforms.
There are really two components to LendingRobot. First, there are the automated investing tools that use the APIs of Lending Club and Prosper to invest in loans in an automated fashion, what LendingRobot calls machine based investing. Second, they have their own proprietary algorithms to help investors choose the best loans. Investors can choose to invest using their own criteria with filters or can choose to have LendingRobot invest for them in loans that their algorithm chooses.
The fees are very straightforward. The first $10,000 that LendingRobot has invested on your behalf is completely free. After that investors pay 0.45% of the account value above $10,000. So, it is very easy to give it a try. I have been meaning to try LendingRobot for some time and so earlier today I signed up and connected one of my Lending Club accounts. The whole process took just five minutes. I setup my filters and an hour later LendingRobot was investing my money when Lending Club released new loans.
LendingRobot has around 1,000 clients today and investments totaling around $15 million, so clearly there is demand for a service like this. The great news for investors today is that there are choices. Apart from LendingRobot there is NickelSteamroller, PeerCube, Bluevestment and others. In fact, the Lend Academy Forum now has discussion boards for eight different P2P investment sites.
This is great news for investors as the ecosystem grows. And with LendingRobot’s new funding round they are clearly in a great position to become a major force in this industry.
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.