Today I am at the LendIt conference, and will be live blogging the opening and closing keynote speeches by Lending Club’s Renaud Laplanche and Prosper’s Ron Suber.
Liveblog // Lending Club’s Renaud Laplanche
8:24am EST – Welcome to the LendIt morning live blog. Renaud will be speaking in 20 minutes and people are milling in the reception area. There is a lot of energy here, evident of the enthusiasm for this new avenue of investing. All the big p2p companies, including Lending Club and Prosper are in attendence.
8:35am – Five minutes till the opening keynote. Amazed again with how much momentum is around this event. I have to remind myself that LendIt is dedicated to all of online lending, so many people are here who have little to do with Lending Club or Prosper. That said, the bulk of the attention is given to it, and in this way it is stunning to watch these two companies garner such a degree of limelight in such a short amount of time.
8:38am – Demand has been amazingly high. One gentlemen who realized the conference was sold out tried to simply walk past registration and had to be fetched back. Then he sneaked around a different way and had to be escorted out by security.
8:44am – Dara and Peter have taken the stage. Dara talking now “This is the future of global banking.”
8:50am – Peter: “Our keynote speaker needs no introduction. They are the undisputed world leader in online lending. Welcome Renaud Laplanche.”
8:51am – Renaud Laplanche: “Looking at the history of disruption in other industries, we all have a sense that the pace is going faster and faster. The time it took for something like electricity to get 100% penetration was very slow compared to the way people adopt new technologies today.
8:57am – “Mobile banking has grown more than 50% in the past year, with large banks taking over retail banking. National banks are receiving incredibly low satisfaction rates from their customers (single digits).
9:00am – “Lending Club has amazingly less cost than the rest of the financial industry, growing past $1 billion in five years, and probably reaching $2 billion six months later. The default rate has become very predictable and we are proud of how satisfied our customers have been.”
9:04am – Renaud is giving us a ton of data right now; its almost too much to summarize, but overall incredibly impressive.
9:08am – Here are the six major investor parties working on Lending Club: Self directed retail investors, high net worth/ family offices, institutional direct, credit structure, and 3rd party managers. He just announced that three banks have also just come on board with Lending Club.
9:10am – End of speech. Renaud is taking a couple questions. The first was about the IPO, and Renaud says it will happen sometime next year depending on market conditions.
Liveblog // Prosper’s Ron Suber
5:00pm EST – Welcome to the afternoon LendIt live blog. Ron Suber is prepping for his speech. It’s been quite a day here at LendIt: savvy presentations, relationship building, and all around p2p nerding-out. I continue to meet driven experts who are excited by the socially-beneficial non-banking approach of getting people access to better loans while earning a solid return.
5:07pm – Jennifer Stewart of Disruption Credit is introducing Ron; she cites the fantastic tripling of Prosper’s volume in the recent days.
5:09pm – Ron speaking now, highlighting how much the internet has changed since the days of CompuServe and Netscape. The internet used to be about email and news, but now it allows people to amazing things.
5:12pm – “Two years ago, when you googled peer to peer lending, people were saying it was a fad and would not work. Today it’s a completely different story.”
5:15pm – “One year ago there was a tremendous amount of borrowers and not enough lenders. That changed, and we’re not going back to this. Today, there are a ton of lenders and not enough available loans.”
5:20pm – Ron is talking about how he is travels around the country, describing to people how we are barely scratching the surface of this whole industry. “If we can expand not just the number of borrowers, but the type of borrowers, this is really going to grow.” … “We’re making this easy. You can be at home in your pajamas and get a loan or lend money within days, not weeks.”
5:26pm – While giving a long list of where peer to peer lending is heading, Ron is talking about how the market is going to really grow beyond its current structure, possibly crossing international borders and increasing in frequency (a stream of loans added to platforms rather than incremental additions).
5:30pm – “We are only in the second inning of this incredible industry.”
5:32pm – Ron finished. Asked a question about his difference from Lending Club: “Our gross and net yields are higher. We don’t compete with our lenders, but in listening to our investor base we decided to simply be an exchange.”