Lending Club IPO: World's largest online marketplace preparing for $4bn US stock listing

 
Oliver Smith
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Chief executive Renaud Laplanche will own shares worth about $178.8m following the float
Lending Club, the world’s largest online marketplace directly connecting borrowers and investors, now intends to raise as much as $800m (£508m) in its upcoming initial public offering in New York.

In an updated prospectus yesterday, the peer-to-peer (P2P) lender revealed it plans to price its stock between $10 and $12 a share, giving it a midpoint valuation of around $4bn.

The float, expected to begin trading in mid-December, will be a closely watched for the trajectory of the young P2P industry.

A handful of upstart P2P lenders have launched in London in recent years, including Lending Works, Zopa, and the largest, Funding Circle.

The rise of P2P lenders has been bolstered by the belief that traditional banks, faced with tougher capital requirements and infrastructure costs, have stopped providing certain types of loans, particularly to smaller borrowers.

Lending Club says it has facilitated more than $6.2bn in loans since 2006, with $3bn of that in the past year alone, enabling personal lending of up to $35,000 and up to $100,000 for businesses.

In its prospectus to investors, Lend­ing Club chief executive and founder Renaud Laplanche sets out his goal for the business: “I believe we can transform the current banking system into a frictionless, transparent and highly efficient online marketplace that provides affordable credit to borrowers and creates great investment opportunities for investors, helping millions of people achieve their financial goals.”

Lending Club’s current backers include some of the biggest Silicon Valley investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Capital.

Only three existing investors plan to sell in the float according to the prospectus.

Canaan Partners is hoping to raise as much as $40.8m, Kleiner Perkins is aiming to raise up to $27.6m, and Union Square Ventures which is set to make up to $24m.

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