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Happy May everyone! With spring here now and the selling season in full swing for many of our partners, our business continues to grow rapidly to meet the expanding needs of Canada’s sales finance market. We wanted to share a few key announcements related to this growth.
- We hit two major milestones this past month
- We wanted to introduce some new team members who have joined us recently
Since launching Financeit in January of 2011 we have experienced rapid month over month growth in both our loan applications and enrolled many merchant Partners. By the end of April, we had processed over $70,000,000 in loan applications and crossed over 1,000 qualified Partners enrolled to use our market leading sales finance platform. At our current double digit monthly growth rate, we expect to cross $100,000,000 within the next 90 days.
We are proud of this growth and want to thank our Partners for trusting us to be part of their sales process. We believe that Financeit is changing the way consumers pay for purchases. We allow businesses to finalize financing in less than 10 minutes, at point of sale or on even a mobile device in a client’s living room. We offer competitive Interest rates (ranging from 6.99% to 12.99%). And best of all, Financeit is always free to use.
We have added a number of new team members in order to continue providing the highest level of support to our Partner network. We wanted to introduce you to them!
An introduction to our new team members:
Anthony Watts – Lead Designer
Anthony Watts graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design in Integrated Media in 1996 and has been designing for web and mobile ever since. His past experience includes design and product development for many Toronto based start-ups and advertising agencies. Anthony has been involved with CommunityLend since their earliest days as a co-founder of Unspace, Toronto’s premier web and mobile application development shop.
Alhousseney Diallo – Bilingual Financial Services Representative
Alhousseny worked for 3 years as Associate analyst at BlueOrchard Finance (Switzerland), a world leading lending company dedicated to Microfinance. He holds a MSc in Financial Engineering and Risk Management from the Graduate School of Business of the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), a Honours Bachelor in Applied Economics from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and a Certificate in Risk Management and Credit Scoring in SAS from the Toronto College of Technology.
Alex Labrie – Bilingual Financial Services Representative
Alex Labrie studied economics at a top-tier university in the US and has worked in the Canadian financial sector. Prior to this, Alex was running his own website for three years with a team of 15 people. He is originally from Quebec, used to be in the military, and has done a lot of non-profit work including helping local breakfast clubs and the building of a school abroad.
Jane Kim – Admin Manager
Jane recently joins us from Walton International Group, one of North America’s leading real estate and development companies where she has evolved through multiple positions within Investor Services and Sales. Jane attended the University of Calgary and studied International Relations and completed an exchange program in Sevilla, Spain.
Kate Perkins – Operations Admin
Kate is a recent graduate from Humber College’s marketing program and previous to that she was attending the University of Toronto. Before joining the Communitylend team, she was working for a fitness club in her local area while completing school. In her off time she enjoys baking and attending the gym.
Tzvi Grosman – Business Development & Operations Intern
Tzvi Grosman is currently entering his final year as a Marketing major in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. Tzvi plans to pursue an MBA following the conclusion of his undergrad degree. He currently sits on the executive board of the Ryerson Marketing Association, Ryerson Sports and Business Association, and the Ryerson Jewish Business Network. Tzvi is working as a business development intern and hopes to gain valuable experience during his time at CommunityLend and be a valuable asset to the company.
We also have a few open positions at the moment in case you might know of anyone who you think would make a great contribution to our growing team. Find a link below:
Wherever you are across this great country, we hope you have a very active and prosperous May!
The CommunityLend Team
TORONTO, March 22, 2012 /CNW/ – HSBC Finance recently announced that they would be shutting down their Canadian consumer finance business after an unsuccessful sale process. Up to 500 people are being let go as a result along with countless retailers that were relying on HSBC’s retail credit card program to power their sales.
This announcement is certainly disappointing news for the employees of HSBC Finance but for the retailers there is some good news here. For the companies that had relied on HSBC Finance, you are now free to engage one of the set of Canadian-based sales finance companies who have emerged in the last few years to serve the growing needs of Canadian retailers. Financeit.ca (operated by CommunityLend Finance Inc.) is one of the fastest growing of these new sales finance companies and one with a very unique value proposition, a significantly better rate structure and one of the best sales finance technology platforms in Canada.
Since launching in early 2011, Financeit.ca has signed up over 900 Partners and taken over $60 million in loan applications. The company’s specific mission is to provide a better domestic alternative to those internationally owned and now departing sales finance companies.
Here are just some of the unique features of the Financeit system for our Partners and their customers:
- A state of the art online application platform which operates 24/7 and will decision your financing applications in less than a second.
- For qualifying loans, our QuickFund process will guarantee funding for your application in less than 5 minutes without requiring additional customer validation.
- Our interest rates are some of the best in the industry, starting at 6.99% for Home Improvement & Vehicle loans and never exceeding 12.99% in the Retail & Health Services industries.
- Very flexible and very reasonably priced marketing programs – such as payment deferrals and rate buy downs.
- Consumer-friendly payment deferral programs that NEVER back date interest.
- A Canadian owned and operated company with a stable funding source which uniquely leverages the balance sheets of major Canadian financial institutions and private lenders.
“We started last year with a focus in the home improvement market and have since expanded into vehicles, retail and health,” noted CEO, Michael Garrity. “Initially businesses were skeptical to work with us because they had been burned in the past by big international banks closing shop in Canada but we have had early success in the market due to our uncompromising focus on delivering the best experience possible to our vendor partner and their customers.”
“The consumer finance space in Canada has seen very little innovation because of the traditional bank programs and we have been able to develop relationships with many big box retailers and national distributors as a result of our focus on service and technology”, added Casper Wong, Vice President of Business Development.
For further information:
Business Development & Operations
T 416-646-2177 x103
If you have been following the CommunityLend Peer to Peer (P2P) Lending story over the years you might have been wondering why we have been so quiet here here recently. The short answer is that we have been trying to decide how much more time to spend on our P2P Lending site in light of a larger and faster growing consumer lending business we also operate called Financeit™.
We have now made the decision that we will be suspending the operations of our P2P lending site so that our team can focus solely on Financeit™.
This has not been an easy decision for us but one which has come about over time. We observed that P2P Lending, as it needs to operate within the Canadian regulatory system today, has enough headwinds blowing against it that getting to a significant scale was going to be both expensive and difficult. As we searched for solutions to these challenges as a P2P Lending operator, we kept our focus on our desired goal, to create a lending product for Canadians that gave them a less expensive and more convenient way to get an instalment loan.
We realized that we needed to get closer to where the borrowing “transaction”’ occurred instead of recruiting the borrower after the fact. People buy things in a store location (offline and online) and too often just use their credit cards and then carry balances with high interest rates. We realized that helping people at this transaction moment was the key to driving interest in our lending product. This conclusion led us quickly to focus on sales finance and starting in late 2010 we launched a market leading sales finance platform called Financeit™.
Fast forward to 2012 and we now have over 600 enrolled business partners across three market verticals for Financeit™ and two institutional lenders powering the platform’s double digit month over month loan growth. Financeit™ is now one of the fastest growing businesses of its kind in Canada.
The success of Financeit has led us to decide to focus all of our energy on the new business, leaving us no time for our original dream, the P2P marketplace. The result is that we have chosen to suspend the operation of this service starting today.
So What Happens for Existing Borrowers and Lenders at CommunityLend?
For our existing borrowers with loans outstanding, nothing changes. Your payments will continue to be processed on the same date and distributed back to your lenders. Failure to maintain your payments will send your loan into collections with our collection agency partner and be reported to our credit bureau partner (and believe me you don’t want that).
For our existing lenders, your loans payments will continue to be collected and returned to your lender accounts until all of the loans are complete. Because there will be no new loans for you to bid on, you can request your cash balances to be sent to you at any time.
We do want to thanks all of the folks who have been supporting P2P lending over the years and to encourage you to continue to follow our rapidly growing new business model.
If you love the idea of P2P lending and wanted to discuss some strategic options for this novel lending service, we invite you to reach out. We still believe in P2P lending especially sponsored by the right party.
If you have any questions or comments about our decision or new direction, please let us know.
– Michael Garrity and the CommunityLend (and Financeit) team
Big congratulations to Prosper for their success in raising another $17.2 million from a couple of new investors as well as existing.
Congratulations to our friends at LendingClub on crossing another milestone.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Lending Club (http://www.lendingclub.com), the leading platform for investing in and obtaining personal loans, announced that it has passed $250 million in total loan originations. The platform continues to break monthly loan origination records with 1,556 loans totaling $17.5 million originated through LendingClub.com for April 2011(i). Lending Club has also won the Webby Award for the best Banking/Bill Paying site, beating out big name institutions like US Bank and JPMorgan Chase.
We are pleased to announce that CommunityLend Holdings Inc. (CLH) has closed a $1.5M private placement from several individual angel investors and an institutional investment fund. Wildlaw Capital Markets Inc., an investment bank, acted as an agent for the round. The proceeds of this private placement will go to scaling up our loan origination, loan adjudication, and loan servicing operations.
This investment comes on the heels of a successful year since our launch as Canada’s 1st (and only) online consumer loan marketplace by CommunityLend Inc. Monthly loan volume has more than doubled each of the last 3 months and we are projecting this pace of growth to continue throughout 2011.
In recent months, CLH has attracted several major partners which are contributing to our exponential growth in loan volume. CLH has signed several strategic channel partnerships recently, including one with Canada’s $6B used car marketplace AutoTrader.ca, announced in December. We have also partnered with over 30 home renovation companies through our subsidiary FinanceIt.ca to provide sales financing to that $30B industry. In the few months since launch, we have aligned FinanceIt.ca with HomeStars and StrengthFinance to serve more home improvement companies.
On the lender capital side, CommunityLend has recently welcomed a new institutional lender into a multi-million dollar pilot and continues to support our individual approved accredited investors.
Thanks to our investors, partners, lenders, and borrowers as we continue our mission to “change the rules of lending” for Canadians.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
It was a year ago this month, that CommunityLend formally launched Canada’s first and only online loan marketplace . It has been a great first year. As we look towards our goals and plans for this coming year it is easy to state that we are really just getting started. We have a number of new products that we are currently working on and a number of exciting partnerships in the coming months, so stay tuned.
In this month’s newsletter, we’re pleased to share our most recent market metrics, a new partnership announcement and some great press we received last month.
- Loan Demand increased significantly last month to $10.96 Million.
- Loan Requests Accepted and available for investment increased to $1.33 Million.
- Our Cumulative Average Loan Size for Accepted Loans moved down slightly to $9,370.
- Our Cumulative Average Offered Interest Rate moved up slightly to 14.32%.
- Our excellent delinquency track record continues at 0.00% on all loans originated to date.
Exclusive Financing Sponsor of HomeStars Best of 2010
This month we announced that we are sponsoring the HomeStars Best of 2010 Awards Shows!
This is the first collaboration in an expanding partnership with HomeStars to promote FinanceIt.ca, our new service that allows home renovation companies to increase sales by offering financing.
Every year, HomeStars, the popular user review site, celebrates the best home renovation companies across Canada. Companies make the Best Of List based on the ratings and reviews from the homeowners that hired them in that year.
Many of us on the CommunityLend staff have personally used HomeStars for years. It is with delight that we can support the Canadian home renovation industry in this way, and to introduce these outstanding companies to FinanceIt.ca.
CommunityLend in the news
On January 21st, CommunityLend CEO, Michael Garrity, was honoured to be asked onto BNN’s Alternative Investing show to speak about Peer-to-peer lending in general and CommunityLend, specifically. Here is the video of Michael being interviewed by Andrew Bell, and David Kauffman.
Also in January, we were grateful to be asked to appear on the Lang & O’Leary Exchange on CBC TV to explain CommunityLend. CommunityLend CEO, Michael Garrity appears at 48:45 in this clip.
We were fortunate enough to have this excellent article on us by Richard Chu in “Business in Vancouver” in January. The site requires registration, so here is the first paragraph, and a pdf of the article.
“A Toronto-based peer-to-peer lending company is gaining traction in B.C. after spending most of last year obtaining financial and securities regulator approval to operate in the province.”
- CommunityLend Provides Auto Financing through AutoTrader.ca
- News 1130 in Vancouver covers launch of FinanceIt.ca
- Michael Garrity included in TechVibes’ Digital Media People to Watch in 2011
- CommunityLend included in TNW’s 10 Canadian Startups You Should Know About.
- Casper Wong joins CommunityLend
- Paul Sehr joins CommunityLend
In This Update
- Short Month, Big Goals
- Online Loan Marketplace Stats
- Exclusive Financing Sponsor of HomeStars Best of 2010
- CommunityLend in the news
- Past announcements
CommunityLend Inc. is a Canadian financial services company that runs the CommunityLend.com online loan marketplace.
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