Expands from Asia to Latin America, Uses Facebook to Disrupt Financial Services
NEW YORK – May 15, 2012 – Lenddo, the world’s first online community that empowers the emerging middle class to use their online social connections to build their creditworthiness and access local financial services, today announced it has closed an $8 Million Series A investment. Investors include the Silicon Valley firms of Accel Partners, Blumberg Capital, and Omidyar Network, as well as Montreal-based iNovia Capital and New York-based Metamorphic Ventures. Also participating in the round are several prominent Angel Investors include Geoff Judge, David Kidder, Scott Heiferman and Barry Silbert. The Investor Group’s track record includes early investments in Facebook, Groupon, Tencent, Kiva and Prosper.
“Lenddo seeks to improve the lives of millions of people in emerging markets,” said Lenddo’s Founder and Global CEO, Jeff Stewart. “We witness the impact of our loans every day in the Philippines and Colombia — from pursuing education to helping sick relatives to repairing homes after natural disasters — all of this is made possible because of our members’ positive online reputation.”
Lenddo’s platform allows its members to use their reputation on social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to obtain life improving loans. Founded in 2011, the Lenddo community has tens of thousands of members in over 35 countries and member growth continues to double about every 90 days. Lenddo currently provides loans exclusively in Colombia and the Philippines. The company plans to use the new investment capital to grow the engineering team, accelerate growth and expand operations to more emerging market economies.
“Lenddo has the potential to transform how millions of underserved in the emerging markets access credit,” said Arjuna Costa, director, investments at Omidyar Network. “Jeff and his team have harnessed the power of technology and online social networks to create a uniquely intimate lending process. By linking community and reputation to creditworthiness, Lenddo has the power to replace the impersonal risk-assessment tools that currently exclude most of the world’s population.”
Lenddo’s proprietary algorithm was designed by Chief Scientist and PHD, Dr. Naveen Agnihotri. “At Lenddo, we discovered that the willingness of your community to connect and vouch for you is an incredibly powerful predictor of creditworthiness,” said Dr. Agnihotri.
The Senior Management team also includes Co-Founder and Asia CEO, Richard Eldridge and Americas CEO and former Head of New Markets, Latin America at Google, Dan Gertsacov. The company currently has employees in Manila, Bogotá and New York City. John Elton a Partner at iNovia Capital will join the Board along with Bruce Taragin, Managing Director at Blumberg Capital, who co-led the round.
Lenddo’s mission is to help create an economically empowered and thriving middle class in developing countries around the world. To accomplish this, Lenddo built the world’s first online platform that empowers members to use their online social connections to build their creditworthiness and access local financial services. Lenddo is currently providing loans to members in Colombia and the Philippines. For more information, please visit www.lenddo.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lenddo.
About iNovia Capital
iNovia partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build successful companies in high growth sectors. The team is comprised of entrepreneurs and sector experts focused on Mobile, Internet and Digital Media. iNovia has $275M under management across three seed and early stage funds. For more information, visit www.inoviacapital.com or follow iNovia on Twitter at www.twitter.com/iNovia
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel. Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Angry Birds (Rovio), ComScore, Facebook, Groupon, Kayak, Playfish, QlikTech, Spotify, and Wonga. For more information, visit the Accel Partners web site at www.accel.com find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel.
About Blumberg Capital
Blumberg Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that specializes in providing the Seed or Series A round funding and support to technology entrepreneurs in the software, digital and social media, mobile and consumer Internet industries. The company was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in San Francisco with team members located in New York and Israel. Since its inception, Blumberg has backed numerous entrepreneurial founding teams at companies including Check Point Software [CHKP], CREO, DSP Group [DSPG], HootSuite, DoubleVerify, Nutanix and Revionics. To learn more, visit www.blumbergcapital.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blumbergcapital.
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $500 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, property rights, consumer internet, mobile and government transparency. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com.
About Metamorphic Ventures
Metamorphic Ventures invests in start up and early stage technology companies in digital media and digital commerce. The Metamorphic team has hands-on operating experience, from start up to exit. We have all personally experienced the ups and downs of building new businesses and see our role as true partners and advisors to help an entrepreneur to succeed. We are truly the entrepreneur’s fund.