Lending Club's New Front: Loans for Braces and Your Kid's Kindergarten Tuition
Lending Club started out as a peer-to-peer loan site to help people get out of high-interest debt. Then, a few weeks ago, the Google-backed, online-only lending platform expanded into the small-business loan market. Now, it's expanding its reach again, making funding available for both private education and elective medical procedures.
What that means is that you will be able to pay for orthodontic procedures and your kid’s private kindergarten with money raised from your peers.
Lending Club said today that it has bought consumer finance company Springstone for $140 million in a cash and stock deal. The Westborough, Mass.-based lending platform specializes in financing for private education costs, grades kindergarten through high school, and for elective medical procedures, like orthodontia, fertility procedures and cosmetic surgery.
Springstone, which was founded in 2007, has established connections with more than 14,000 schools and health-care providers. Last year, the company brokered $340 million in loans for elective medical procedures, tutoring and private education.
“The acquisition of Springstone is significantly expanding the services we offer to help consumers achieve their goals,” said Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche, in a written statement.
To pay for the acquisition, Lending Club also announced it raised $65 million in new equity and $50 million in debt financing. Lending Club launched in 2007 and has brokered more than $4 billion in personal loans for 250,000 consumers.