Fintech Trending: Alt-Lending Woes, Asia Grows and Everbank Exits

A look at the trending topics of the past two weeks.

Trending highest: No Lush Life for Alt Lenders

LushLIfe_Coltrane_albumcoverIf unanimously positive perceptions are the hallmark of a bubble, then rest assured that the alt-lending market has moved past that stage. For every headline-grabbing C-level departure at Lending Club (F09)—CEO Renaud Laplanche stepping down in June, CFO Carrie Dolan announcing her resignation in August—there are successes: Prosper (F09) revealed its plan to sell $5 billion in loans to a group of private investors over the next two years; small business lender OnDeck (F12) surpassed earnings expectations despite its second consecutive quarterly loss and reported year-over-year quarterly revenue gains, as well as a year-over-year increase in loans under management of 47%.

So if there’s no bubble in the alt-lending part of the fintech universe, should we fear a bust? Diverging fortunes among these companies is a good sign. The more the fates of alternative lenders are linked to the decisions of individual corporate leaders, their business plans, and their customers rather than investing trends among venture capitalists (or hedge funds in the case of alt lenders gone public), the better. Looking at the P2P lending market in the U.K., LendInvest CEO Christian Faes told Business Insider, “Over the next few years, the businesses that can prove they can make a profit will be the ones [still] around in another ten years, making a lasting impact on finance.” In other words, just like any other business.

For Lending Club, the challenge is diversifying away from “fickle funding sources.” In addition to Prosper’s $5 billion move, Social Finance went so far as to launch a hedge fund, the $15 million SoFi Credit Opportunities Fund, to purchase its loans as well as those of its competitors.

  • OnDeck Loan Originations (And Loan Loss Provisions) Soar – PYMNTS.com
  • OnDeck Defends Strategy After $17.9 Million Loss – American Banker
  • Online Lenders Have a Tough Job Ahead – Wall Street Journal
  • The U.K.’s historically low interest rate could benefit alternative lenders – Business Insider
  • Lending Club’s latest results tell us a lot about the online credit business model – FT Alphaville

Other trending topics

Fintech Advances in Asia
While investors have been bullish on the tech scene in Asia for some time, a slew of new reports appeared this month. TechCrunch recently reported that in 2015 and the first half of 2016, fintech accounted for 21% of all VC funding in Southeast Asia. In a recent blog post, Trulioo (F15) said that fintech startups in Asia garnered $4.5 billion in 2015, triple what European fintech firms received during the same period. Recent developments include:

It’s no coincidence that Finovate is returning to Asia now to bring the innovators together in one place. Join us November 8, 2017, in Hong Kong for FinovateAsia 2016 as we showcase the latest and greatest.

Blockchain Developer, UNICEF Wants YOU!
The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund is looking for a developer interested in using blockchain technology to help “solve the problems of the developing world.” Interested parties can find out more about the position here. And if the combination of blockchain and the developing world sounds familiar, it may be because you’re thinking of recent Finovate Best of Show winner BanQu (F16) which has developed a blockchain-based identity platform that promotes financial inclusion and empowerment among the underbanked, including refugee populations.

Hello, It’s Me: Voice Auth Comes to Barclays
Barclays adds instant voice authentication for all 12 million retail customers, ending 30 years of maneuvering through tedious telephone prompts and redundant authentication questions. – Bank Innovations

Everbank’s Awesome Exit
1990s digital banking pioneer Everbank exits for $2.5 billion in sale to TIAA. After PayPal (F12), this is the most successful fintech company to come out of the original 1990s dot-com era. – PYMNTS.com

Mastercard on the Move
Early Warning’s clearXchange saw some growth as of late. Mastercard, which announced this week that its Mastercard Send U.S. debit cardholders can send and receive money through the clearXchange network. Fiserv (F16) will also become a distribution partner for clearXchange, leveraging the partnership to provide a turnkey solution for banks.

Speaking of Mastercard, the company is looking at the newly announced partnership between PayPal and Visa (FD14), with an eye toward striking a similar deal. Finextra talked with Mastercard CEO Singh Banga who said it will be “important for Mastercard to provide something in addition to what Visa’s offered” as Mastercard “doesn’t have as much to offer PayPal” as Visa did because it has fewer consumers.

Azimo Goes Social
London-based Azimo (F13) took a step toward facilitating P2P payments by launching money transfers via Facebook Messenger. Interestingly, the transfer is initiated within the Azimo app (via Facebook integration) and completed in Facebook Messenger.

Insurance for Everything
Insurance startup investors are betting big that the smartphone platform allows a new breed of insurance products to flourish, so-called insurance on demand. The classic example is an alert when arriving at the airport asking if you would like to buy travel insurance. But the bigger market automobile/motorcycle policies are offering coverage only when you are using the vehicle. Our Insurance for Everything example of the week? On-demand insurance for your drone courtesy of Verifly. – Techcrunch

Also keeping our eyes on …

  • On August 2, 2016, Bitcoin dropped 20% after $70M worth of bitcoin (around 12,000 BTC) was stolen from Bitfinex exchange. The company is now offering a reward of up to $3.6 million for the recovery of the digital currency. Bitfinex said it has taken “significant steps” to improve its security, and resumed trading on its platform on Thursday, August 10. – TechCrunch
  • The U.K.’s FCA has granted app-only bank Mondo a banking license, thereby joining the ranks of neobanks Atom Bank, Tandem, and Starling. – The Financial Times
  • “An Interview with the Inventor of the Credit Card Chip Reader” – The New Yorker
  • “The Dawn of the Virtual Assistant” – The New York Times

Parentheticals after a company name refer to the year of their most recent Finovate or FinDEVr conference appearance (F = Finovate, FD = FinDEVr).

A Look at the First Week of Nasdaq’s Fintech Index

While many of you were busy catching Pikachu last week, you may have missed that Nasdaq, in collaboration with KBW, launched an index to track financial technology. Officially named KBW Nasdaq Financial Technology Index (KFTX), the fund tracks 49 fintech companies, including 17 Finovate and FinDEVr alums.

On Monday, 18 July, the index opened at 1,000 points and closed at almost 1,014 points on Friday, 22 July.

Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 2.52.11 PM

Finovate and FinDEVr alums listed in the index include:

According to Nasdaq’s press release, the companies in the index “represent roughly one-fifth (18%) of the investable domestic financial universe and nearly 4% of the investable domestic equity universe to account for approximately $785 billion in total market cap.”

It’s worth noting that the index, which will be rebalanced quarterly, does not consider activity from private companies, startups, or banks. Large, public companies may not be as sprightly as two guys in a garage, but they create their fair share of cutting-edge products and services. When creating the index, KBW and Nasdaq adhered to three guidelines:

  1. The companies mainly sell financial services
  2. Not primarily brick-and-mortar operated
  3. Income is generated from fees, rather than interest

Other companies in the index include (each company in the index is weighted equally):

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (ADS); Bankrate Inc. (RATE); Black Knight Financial Services Inc. (BKFS); BofI Holding Inc. (BOFI); Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. (BR); Cardtronics Inc. (CATM); CBOE Holdings Inc. (CBOE); CME Group Inc. (CME); CoreLogic Inc. (CLGX); Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB); Euronet Worldwide Inc. (EEFT); EverBank Financial Corp. (EVER); EVERTEC Inc. (EVTC); FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS); First Data Corp. (FDC); FleetCor Technologies Inc. (FLT); Global Payments Inc. (GPN); Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE); MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (MKTX); Moody’s Corp. (MCO); MSCI Inc. (MSCI); Nasdaq Inc. (NDAQ); S&P Global Inc. (SPGI); SEI Investments Co. (SEIC); Square Inc. (SQ); SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. (SSNC); Total System Services (TSS); The Western Union Co. (WU); VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY); Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK); Virtu Financial Inc. (VIRT); and WEX Inc. (WEX).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • MoneyHub Teams Up with Unbiased to Help People Manage their Finances
  • Expensify Unveils ReceiptBurner and Price-to-Beat
  • Finovate Debuts: Walletron Helps Brands Build a Presence in Digital Wallets

Around the web

  • Concur to deploy SilverRail API to enable European travelers to search, plan, and schedule travel by rail.
  • CSI globalVCard moves global partnership-operations team to Dallas; Nan Dawson promoted to SVP of partnership operations.
  • Lending Club announces new Chief Capital Officer, Patrick Dunne.
  • CoinTelegraph names Braintree, Chain, and Ripple as three companies that will shape the future of money.
  • Sberbank Capitalizes On Pokémon Go Marketing Opportunity
  • Over the last year, 50 new customers added Guardian Analytics Wire to protect their customers from the Business Email Compromise scam.
  • Simple celebrates its 7th anniversary, now with 300,000 customers and a little over 300 staff.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Ping Identity Unveils Security, Usability Upgrades to IDaaS Platform.
  • defi SOLUTIONS to Launch Full-Service Analytics and Reporting Platform by Year’s End
  • Coinbase Lands $10.5 Million in Strategic Investment from Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ

Around the web

  • Misys honored by Celent Model Bank Awards for its work with Russia’s Alfa-Bank.
  • Holvi launches new debit card, Holvi Business MasterCard.
  • Risk Ident CEO Roberto Valerio writes about fighting account-takeover fraud.
  • Ixaris helps Amadeus build prepaid B2B wallet.
  • WattzOn unveils three new web and mobile tools for monitoring and managing utility bills.
  • The Street: Lending Club ‘Platform Investors’ Are Slowly Returning Despite Recent Hiccups
  • Buzz Points joins Jack Henry’s Symitar Vendor Integration Program.
  • iSignthis integrates with XM.COM to deliver due diligence Digital KYC service.
  • ProfitStars Ranked Among Top-50 Providers in MSPmentor 501 Global Edition.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Lending Club Appoints Scott Sanborn as CEO

LendingClubHomepage

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 8.33.46 AMEven if you’re not a fintech fanatic, you likely know that in early May, Lending Club’s CEO resigned amid accusations of loan-documentation errors. At the time CMO Scott Sanborn and director Hans Morris stepped in as acting co-CEOs. Today the company announced the official appointment of Sanborn (pictured) as CEO and Morris as board chairman.

This bit of stability was enough to send the San Francisco-based company’s shares up 6% this morning after having tumbled 61% since the start of this year; however, with the good news, comes a flip side. Lending Club cut 179 jobs—12% of its workforce—as a reaction to lower loan volumes in the second quarter and in recognition that “fully restoring investor confidence may take time.” The company expects loan volumes for the second quarter of this year to be one-third less than its first quarter volume of $2.75 billion.

Lending Club will spend $9 million this quarter on investor incentives and $20 million on the ripple effects of job cuts—severance pay and employee-retention efforts—and advisory relationships. The company holds its annual meeting later today.

Founded in 2006, Lending Club demoed at FinovateSpring 2009 and at the inaugural Finovate in 2007.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • IBM Opens Bluemix Garage in New York City
  • Lending Club Appoints Scott Sanborn as CEO
  • Canadian Government Selects OutsideIQ to Bring DDIQ to Brazil and London

On FinDEVr.com

  • Avalara Adds New Stripe Integration, Earns Dual Honors at American Business Awards

Around the web

  • Jack Henry & Associates launches new app collaboration platform, JHA Marketplace.
  • Digital Insight gives customers pre-login look at bank balances via their mobile banking app.
  • Absa Stockbrokers and Portfolio Management has implemented the Secure Document Repository solution from Striata.
  • TSYS Named to The Civic 50 in 2016

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Tradeshift Closes $75 Million Series D Round, Boosts Valuation to $500 Million.
  • Finovate Debuts: EquityZen Lets Wealth Managers Invest in Pre-IPO Companies.
  • Backbase Announces New CFO Leonore Van Waiij.
  • MyOrder, Wirecard Helps Power Shared Spending Functionality for GRPPY App.
  • Dyme Unveils Prototype of Facebook Saving Chatbot.

On FinDEVr

  • FICO Launches Falcon Assurance Navigator to Help Universities Monitor Federal Grant Spending.

Around the web

  • Chartis names CustomerXPs an Enterprise Solution player in the 2016 RiskTech Quadrant for Enterprise Fraud Tech.
  • Patch of Land Adds Institutional Investors to Real Estate Platform.
  • Prosper hires investment banks to explore raising more funds.
  • NuData Security Selected Best AntiFraud Solution at CardNotPresent Expo.
  • TechCrunch: Lending Robot makes Lending Club investing easy as setting screen brightness.
  • Tokbox launches its video broadcast solution for producers.
  • Banking Technology: Goldman Sachs to use technology from Infosys to power its new digital bank, GS Bank.
  • Business Insider features Finovate alums Azimo, eToro, Currency Cloud, and Zopa in list of potential future U.K. fintech unicorns.
  • True Potential wins Best Use of Technology at Money Marketing Awards 2016.
  • CreditHQ announces special freelancer rate.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Actiance Brings on Naresh Bansal as New CFO”
  • “Twilio Readies for $100 Million IPO”
  • “PayNearMe Acquires Prism Money to Offer Bill Presentment for Enterprise Clients”
  • “Featurespace Falls on a Fresh $9 Million in Funding”

On FinDEVr

  • “OakNorth, ‘The First Cloud-Based Bank in the U.K.’ is Powered by Mambu”

Around the web

  • Dataconomy interviews Georg Ludviksson, Meniga CEO and co-founder.
  • The WSJ: “Lending Club Talking With Citigroup About Loan Purchases”
  • Cachet Financial Solutions to power Mobile Deposit for LCNB National Bank.
  • American Banker highlights Suresh Ramamurthi, chairman and CTO of CBW Bank.
  • eToro appoints Joe Hall as its new managing director of business in the U.K.
  • Let’s Talk Payments takes a look at the post-acquisition relationship between Envestnet and Yodlee.
  • Ethoca teams up with the Online Payment Exchange (ONPEX) to stop ecommerce fraud using early warning alerts.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Lending Club’s Stock Price is Not a Leading Indicator for Fintech

Lending-Club-NYSE

Lending Club (LC) will always have a fond place in my heart. Renaud Laplanche’s small team presented at our very first Finovate in 2007. And until a few months ago, they were our most successful startup alum, at least measured by company valuation (Credit Karma gets the nod for now). While LendingClub is still a unicorn (market cap = $1.5 billion today), the loss of 7 or 8 unicorns’ worth of market cap in the past 12 months is unsettling.

I have had little interaction with the company in the past few years as it moved from demoing tech at Finovate to keynoting alt-lending events. But I’ve always been a fan, both of the business model, and also of Laplanche and the company as a whole. I will say this, though, they were one of our more intense alums. But that’s not necessarily a negative. That’s often what it takes to scale in the difficult world of consumer credit where one misstep can sink you (RIP Nextcard).

But they’ve also been willing to give back. Laplanche personally introduced us to a potential strategic partner several years ago. He did it purely as a friendly favor. It was long past the point where he had anything to gain from that introduction.

So, yeah, it’s been hard to watch the s***storm of the past 10 days. I was preoccupied with FinovateSpring during the worst of it last week, but I’ve been soaking up the various articles the past few days. I agree with Peter Renton’s post today: Lending Club must overcome some serious challenges in the short-term. But to say that the marketplace lending model is broken (paywall warning), or to jump to the conclusion of a fundamental flaw in the entire fintech industry is just so much hyperbole.

lc ytd stockFrom what I can discern, Lending Club had a relatively minor disclosure issue. And while LC lost major trust-points (albeit a HUGE issue), it’s important to note there were ZERO financial losses for anyone involved other than shareholders (see inset) and fired LC execs. A single bad consumer loan would produce more financial damage to LC lenders than this whole sordid situation.

What does this mean for the future of P2P lending? Well, it’s bad for LC short-term. But for other players, the situation is mixed. Less volume going through the LC platform means more loan demand for other players. But it’s a two-sided market, and clearly some institutional money is pulling back, so it may be harder to fund loans. That means rates go up, which will spike lender returns, bringing more capital back into the system. Money always flows to the best risk-adjusted return. So marketplace lending survives.

And what does all this mean to the other fintech players? We had 72 demos at FinovateSpring last week. Exactly zero of them are impacted negatively by the LC situation. The primary P2P loan-play, Best of Show winner Lending Robot, is probably helped by volatility. As the “Mint for individual P2P lenders,” that YC alum acts as a front-end to multiple loan platforms (see their demo here).

You could argue that the stock-price decline of Lending Club puts a damper on future fintech IPOs. That is probably true for U.S. consumer lending marketplaces like Prosper (which recently laid off 28% of its workforce, which, remember, had doubled in 2015). But serious investors don’t view fintech as one homogeneous field. Returns from angel investing in Hip Pocket or UBS’s recent investment in SigFig, have no correlation with the stock market return of a single public marketplace lender.

So yes, one high-flyer falls back to earth, but that’s not an indictment of an entire, highly diversified industry.

Lending Club’s Laplanche Resigns; Scott Sanborn to Serve as Acting CEO

LendingClub_homepage_May2016

According to Lending Club president and new acting CEO Scott Sanborn, the first rule of Lending Club is to “maintain the highest levels of trust with borrowers.”

Sanborn’s remarks come as the online lending marketplace announces both its Q1 results as well as the resignation of Renaud Laplanche as Chairman and CEO. Laplanche is stepping down in the wake of an internal review by the company’s board of directors that questioned a $22 million sale of near-prime loans to a single investor. Sanborn (pictured below) will be assisted by director Hans Morris, who will also serve in a newly created role of executive chairman.

LendingClub_ScottSanbornMorris emphasized that while the “lack of full disclosure” during the review process was “unacceptable,” he added that the sum involved was “minor” and would have no financial impact on the company. Lending Club’s Q1 results underscored this, with the company reporting year-over-year operating revenue gains of 87% and an increase of more than 137% in year-over-year, adjusted EBITDA.

Other positive metrics from Lending Club for the quarter include a servicing portfolio of more than $10 billion, a gain of more than $5 billion year-over-year, and scoring its first month with more than $1 billion of originations. This included two days “at or above $99 million.” Speaking of the quarter, Lending Club CFO, Carrie Dolan said that flexibility of the model was key in helping the company “respond to market challenges such as economic uncertainty, capital market disruptions and negative seasonality.” She added, “We were pleased with the company’s growth in the face of these challenges.”

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and founded in 2006, Lending Club is one of Finovate’s oldest alums, having demonstrated its platform at the first Finovate conference in 2007.