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Why I wouldn’t want to be a bank in this market

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 9:00 am

Album_no_respectAs the late Rodney Dangerfield put it so eloquently, banks don’t get no respect in today’s market.

It’s not that they haven’t tried. Post the 2007-2008 credit crisis, many of them have cleaned up their acts.

But, it’s not just the fact that banks are now forces to lay in their own financial beds that has made bankers lives so tough of late.

Banks face (new) tough competition

It’s also about competition. Banks are being assailed on all fronts in a way they’ve never been threatened and I think the writing is one the wall: the core functions of banking are being challenged by a whole new generation of startup financial service providers that may eventually displace them. We’re in the early stages of sprinting a marathon to build the most influential finance companies.

Today’s consumer lending: from the consumer to the consumer

One of retail banking’s bread and butter business lines is a basic form of lending arbitrage. They take deposits from customers (paying out a low interest rate) and then lend it out to other customers (at a higher interest rate).

But many individuals are borrowing outside traditional banking channels. Lending Club, the largest peer to peer lender, just surpassed $4 billion in small personal loans it’s underwritten on its platform. Borrowers on peer to peer lending platforms either couldn’t qualify for loans, got worse rates with banks or just would rather avoid the banking sector all together. Banks see the writing on the wall — Union Bank just announced it would team up with Lending Club to deploy its own capital into loans on Lending Club’s website. You can hear how far the company has come since my 2012 interview with Lending Club founder and CEO.

Business loans: the next domino to fall

Lending Club made it very clear as it gears up for its own multi-billion dollar IPO (expected this year) that it’s interested in getting into business loans. It’s here, in the commercial loan business, that banks are facing their fiercest rivals right now.

  • Long term loans: Newly-minted companies like Funding Circle has already lent out hundreds of millions of dollars to business looking to borrow money for years at a time. The demand for these types of loans from non-banking sources is huge.
  • Short term loans: Businesses looking for shorter term loans and access to working capital are turning more and more to companies like OnDeck. Armed with new credit models, these firms can frequently be more quick and nimble, approving loans in minutes (versus days and weeks at traditional lenders).
  • Specialty loans: Perhaps the most interesting entrants into the online lending market are the specialty ecommerce and payment platforms. Amazon is hiring boatloads of people to staff up its new lending division. Paypal is doing the same with its new Working Capital loans for small businesses that use the payment platform. These companies are perfectly situated in their customers’ business to a) determine creditworthiness and b) to provide them with a loan. And student loans? Forget about it — there are startups like Pave (hear my recent interview with Pave’s co-founder) trying to create more efficient (and cheaper) ways to finance higher education.

Look for more innovative online lending models to proliferate in the next few years like the kind that Zazma employs. A startup that’s received investments from top venture capital firms, Zazma provides trade financing to small businesses. Need to stock up on some inventory before the holiday season? Zazma will pay your supplier for the goods and work with you on payback — all almost instantly online. Low friction like credit cards and quick access to working capital.

Today’s “no respect” for the banking sector is so much more than just the product of the recent credit crisis. Smart, well-funded startups are beginning to chip away at banks’ core value to the economy and consumers (both retail and business) seem to happier with their new-found options.

What do you think about the changes in the lending market? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

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  • Peter Renton on How the Lending Club IPO changes everything

    Posted on June 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm UTC

    On the inaugural This Week in Crowdfunding podcast, David Stark and Zack Miller discuss all things crowdfunding.

    First up, we do a hard-punching news roundup. We chat about Kickstarter’s recent rule changes, why the real estate crowdfunding industry is currently receiving so much PR, and a recent study that sheds some light on optimizing crowdfunding campaigns.

    lendacademy's lend academyWe interview Peter Renton of LendAcademy and the Lendit conference, who’s a true pioneer in the marketplace lending industry. We ask Peter on where the industry is headed. Pay attention to Peter’s description of the rumored, upcoming Lending Club IPO and how he expects this to be a seminal moment in the crowdfunding industry.

    Lastly, in our product review section of the podcast, we take a closer look at NickelSteamroller which is a great site to both analyze the marketplace (p2p) lending industry in general, as well as analyze individual securities at the portfolio level.

    That’s a wrap for the first of what we hope to be incredibly engaging and informational podcasts we’ll be publishing weekly.

    Listen to the FULL episode

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  • Investing in real estate via crowdfunding – with Realty Mogul’s Jilliene Helman

    Posted on June 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm UTC

    Crowdfunding is changing the way many people invest. Real estate crowdfunding, in particular, has seen massive interest as investors now have the opportunity to invest in some of the top properties in the world, alongside top institutional investors — all from their laptops or tablet computers.

    Jilliene Helman is the co-founder and CEO of Realty Mogul, one of the leaders in the real estate crowdfunding sector and she joins me on the Tradestreaming Podcast to talk about how investors are using her platform to invest in cash flows and hard assets.

    Listen to the FULL episode

    About Jilliene

    0a232fcJilliene Helman is the co-founder and CEO of Realty Mogul.

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    OurCrowd is a better way to invest in startups. Identify and invest in the next Facebook, Google, and Apple on OurCrowd’s investment platform of vetted and diligence of startup investment opportunities. Check out OurCrowd at www.ourcrowd.com

    ***Thanks for joining us on Tradestreaming Radio — I’m very grateful for your time. It’s awesome learning about these new tools and technologies together.

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  • Investing in people with potential — with Upstart’s Dave Girouard

    Posted on June 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm UTC

    What if you’re a recent Stanford college grad with a computer sci degree and need to borrow money? (crickets)

    What if you’re an investor and would like to be able to loan to these (future) high performers? (Upstart…)

    Dave Girouard, co-founder and CEO of Upstart, joins us on the Tradestreaming Podcast today to talk about how his firm is enabling lending to — and investing in — young, high potential people who haven’t had enough time to build out a long credit history.

    Listen to the FULL episode

    About Dave Girouard

    urlDave is the co-founder and CEO of Upstart.

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    Visit our Sponsor

    OurCrowd is a better way to invest in startups. Identify and invest in the next Facebook, Google, and Apple on OurCrowd’s investment platform of vetted and diligence of startup investment opportunities. Check out OurCrowd at www.ourcrowd.com

    ***Thanks for joining us on Tradestreaming Radio — I’m very grateful for your time. It’s awesome learning about these new tools and technologies together.

    If you’re listening to this episode on iTunes, please give it a ranking and rating so that others know of the value you’re finding in it. Thank you ahead of time.****

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  • Creating a new asset class of personal loans — with Lending Club’s Scott Sanborn

    Posted on June 1, 2014 at 9:53 am UTC

    In 2012, Renaud Laplanche, founder and CEO of Lending Club, joined me on the Tradestreaming Podcast.

    So much has happened in the peer to peer lending space since then (including the fact that they no longer call it “peer to peer”): Lending Club just surpassed $4 billion in underwritings, rolled out business loans in addition to personal, and filed for IPO.

    Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Sanborn joins me, Zack Miller, on the Tradestreaming Podcast to discuss why investors are flocking to Lending Club and where his business will go in the near future.

    Listen to the FULL episode

    About Scott Sanborn

    scott sanborn lending clubScott is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Lending Club.

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    OurCrowd is a better way to invest in startups. Identify and invest in the next Facebook, Google, and Apple on OurCrowd’s investment platform of vetted and diligence of startup investment opportunities. Check out OurCrowd at www.ourcrowd.com

    ***Thanks for joining us on Tradestreaming Radio — I’m very grateful for your time. It’s awesome learning about these new tools and technologies together.

    If you’re listening to this episode on iTunes, please give it a ranking and rating so that others know of the value you’re finding in it. Thank you ahead of time.****

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  • Powering the marketplace lending ecosystem — with Matt Burton

    Posted on May 25, 2014 at 11:58 am UTC

    This is the next instalment of our series on crowdfunding. You can access my other interviews on crowdfunding here and here.

    Matt Burton, cofounder of the Orchard Platform joins me, Zack Miller, on the Tradestreaming Podcast.

    Crowdfunding is a huge, transformative trend in investing. Both individual and institutional investors alike are turning to crowdfunding to deploy their monies.

    Matt’s company, Orchard, provides the technology infrastructure of many of these new platforms (what Burton calls the “marketplace lending ecosystem”). Given his ringside seat to what’s transpiring in the p2p lending (and broader, in crowdfunding in general) industry, Matt addressed why investors are so interested in this new form of investing, how individual investors and professionals are using these crowdfunding platforms, and more.

    Listen to the FULL interview

    About Matt

    Matt Burton is co-founder and CEO of the Orchard Platform and has spent his entire career helping build, scale, and optimize the internet’s top advertising exchanges (Google, Admeld, LiveRail).

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    Visit our Sponsor

    OurCrowd is a better way to invest in startups. Identify and invest in the next Facebook, Google, and Apple on OurCrowd’s investment platform of vetted and diligence of startup investment opportunities. Check out OurCrowd.

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Tradestreaming is a community of investors learning directly from experts. I’m Zack Miller, investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Tradestreaming.com and I literally wrote the book on how to invest in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Tradestreaming is the resource I’ve created to help me become a better investor.  I believe it will help you … Continue Reading