LendingClub Files for IPO as Company Rattles Banking Industry

LendingClub Corp., the platform that allows borrowers to bypass traditional banks by connecting directly to lenders via the Internet, filed for a $500 million initial public offering in the U.S.

The figure is a placeholder used to calculate fees and may change. The number of shares to be offered and the price will be determined closer to the IPO. San Francisco-based LendingClub may use the proceeds from the IPO for capital expenditures and to repay debt, according to a prospectus filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

LendingClub is part of a group of startups that are seen as rattling traditional industries and being rewarded with rapidly increasing values. The peer-to-peer lender’s valuation reached almost $3.8 billion in April, a 63 percent jump from November, people familiar with the matter said then. At that level, LendingClub’s market value would be higher than 97 percent of banks listed on U.S. exchanges, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

LendingClub reported a net loss of $16.5 million in the first six months of the year, compared with a $1.74 million profit in the same period in 2013, according to the filing. Net revenue more than doubled to $86.9 million.

After selling an enterprise software company to Oracle Corp. in 2005, Renaud Laplanche, 43, conceived the idea for LendingClub. Since the company began operations in 2007, Renaud, as chief executive officer, helped facilitate more than $5 billion worth of personal loans through the platform. LendingClub connects individuals and institutions to borrowers via the Web in return for a yield above U.S. 10-year Treasuries.

The company, which named former Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer John Mack to its board two years ago, tapped Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to manage the offering. Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former Internet analyst for Morgan Stanley, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers are also on the board.

LendingClub didn’t indicate whether it would list on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market.

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