I recently had the opportunity to speak with expert entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Lending Club, Renaud Laplanche.
Renaud is an expert in raising capital, as he has successfully raised multiple rounds of venture and other capital -- totaling over $50 million for both Lending Club and Triple Hop Technologies, of which he was also the founder.
So I was excited to ask him questions about raising capital for one's business and how LendingClub can help individuals and entrepreneurs. In the interview we covered:
Click below to hear excerpts from the interview:
As readers of the Growthink blog know, I LOVE Kiva (Please read my past blog post on it here). For those not familiar with it, Kiva is a person-to-person micro-lending site –allowing individuals, primarily from developed countries, to lenddirectly to entrepreneurs in the developing world. The borrowers arein places like Cambodia, Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Peru, andTanzania – and primarily borrow to allow their very small businesses toexpand and hire.
Kiva was created in 2005 and originally funded 7 loans for a total of$3,500 which were all paid in full.
Since then, it has grown incredibly. Try these stats on for size:
Growthink's first Kiva loan (first of many we hope), was made to Ms. Tamalii Iopu, owner of a fishing business in Luatuanuu, Somoa. Ms. Iopu, a single mother of two, borrowed money last year to buy new fishing gear, and repaid it in full last month.
I would like to say that we had a particularly scientifically methodology for selecting Ms. Iopu from among the literally THOUSANDS of very deserving entrepreneurs on Kiva. The reality is, like most Kiva lenders, we simply connected to her story as presented on the site. And the very pure repayment histories of all of the borrowers is beyond inspiring.
Growthink hopes to do a LOT more with Kiva in the months and years to come. As I noted in my previous post, we love it because:
Check out Kiva at http://www.kiva.org. And prepare to be inspired.
Did you know that in the last 10 years, every major stock market index has LOST investors money?
That's right, on an inflation adjusted basis, the Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ have each given investors NEGATIVE returns.
And with all of the meddling in the markets coming out of Washington, prospects for the next 10 years aren't any brighter.
Fortunately, there is a better way. In those same 10 years, while stock market investors made nothing or took a bath, early-stage private equity investors earned over 30% annually.
Why is This?
Efficient markets theory teaches us that private equity will always out-perform the public markets. Investors must be given higher rates of return to compensate for the traditional illiquidity and high variability of the asset class.
And up until recently, access to quality early-stage private equity return vehicles has been a) cost and time prohibitive for most institutional investors and b) simply inaccessible to the smaller, individual investor.
The Times They Are A Changin'
Luckily, this is no longer the case. Five mega-trends have coalesced to transform private equity investing as we know it:
1. The ability to source, research, and monitor deals via the Internet
2. The ability to take a data - versus a personality - driven approach to deal diligence
3. The ability to better price deals utilizing regression analysis
4. The ability to exit deals faster - both via alternative investment trading platforms like Second Market - and also simply because of the increasing velocity of business, especially technology business.
5. The ability and opportunity to properly apply "black swan," or "randomness" modeling to deal diligence
Best regards, and look forward to connecting.
P.S. Are you prepared to be saying in 2019 - "Darn - It has now been 20 years since I made any money with my investments?" The world has changed - time to change with it.Categories:
I am very happy to report that Growthink was named to the Inc. 5000 list for the 2nd year in a row.
We were ranked as one of the country's 50 fastest-growing financial services companies (#45) and one of the 100 fastest-growing businesses headquartered in Southern California (#71). Our comprehensive survey ranking was 1,042 out of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the country.
Our standing is a testament to the work ethic and passion of our people as we navigate these historic markets. And our continued success highlights the power and importance of small business and entrepreneurship to the American economy.
I am also happy to report that in spite of my fears of a slow business summer, August has proven to be an incredibly busy month here at Growthink. Our 3rd quarter revenue numbers are on pace to come in at over a 30% uptick from Q2, and as importantly, the quality of our new client portfolio deals is incredibly high.
For a snapshot overview of some of the rockstar companies that we have brought on recently, click here.
How Can YOU Get Involved?
If you believe in emerging technology and in American entrepreneurship, if you're tired of the losing stock market game, and are open to the new and the different, then we should talk.
Best regards, and look forward to connecting.
It is no secret that Hispanic America is exploding. As the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. population, the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to triple from its current 45.5 million, to over 150 million by 2050.
And this exploding demographic group spends money - over $1 trillion in 2008 alone.
Why Should You Care?
Well, if you are looking for a dynamic, long-term macro-growth sector and one filled with special situation opportunities - then you should care.
Of the $210 billion U.S. consumers spend on beverages each year, Hispanics spent $24.8 billion of that. And with rising affluence, the "ready-to-drink" Hispanic-focused category is one pulsating with deals.
Who Says So?
Well, only some of the biggest beverage and consumer products companies in the world - like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kerin (of Japan), Pernod Ricard, China Water, and Inbev - which shocked the world with its $52 billion acquisition of Budweiser last year.
Putting It all Together
The macro trends here areas simple as 1-2-3. 1) Exploding Hispanic Population. 2) Rising affluence - leading to exploding demand for consumer products and 3) Robust sector acquisition activity.
Now for the micro: Find a company that 1) Has the right product with the right distribution. 2) Is targeting a niche sector that is unoccupied by the big boys and 3) Isn't so big and well-known that the "business as opportunity" has passed.
Best regards, and look forward to connecting.
I came across a very interesting advertisement in my Sunday paper the other day.
The ad was from a psychic named Maria that promised to allow you to achieve up to seven of 33 possible wishes.
Now, before I go any further this seemed to be a scam, and in fact, upon checking online, this psychic unfortunately appears to have been scamming people around the world for many years.
However, what I found really interesting was the list of 33 wishes that the advertiser supplied.
I figured that these scammers (since they probably have spent millions in advertising) did some research to ensure that these 33 wishes were universal; that is, that they pretty much sum up the wishes of most people. From a marketing perspective, this is something I found very interesting.
Below are a handful of the wishes on the list that stood out to me the most. Believe it or not, I firmly think that each of us CAN achieve each of these wishes. So, below each wish, I have provided my thoughts regarding how to achieve them -- without psychic assistance.
1) Sell or set up my own business
Start learning now to start, finance, grow, and exit your company.
2) Have a monthly income of $5,000.00
Start a business. Work hard. Make it successful. $5,000/month is nothing if you have a successful business.
3) Win enough money to never have to work again
Build a successful company. Sell it.
4) See my kids do really well in their studies
Work hard in starting and growing your successful company. Because you are the boss, you can spend more time with your kids helping them. Your hard work will also provide the funds to hire a tutor as needed.
5) Be on TV
Once you've started that successful company I've mentioned a couple of times- hire a good PR firm.
6) Attract men/women
Working hard and being successful will give you the confidence to better attract members of the opposite sex.
In fact, the majority of things on this "wish" list...
..can all be attained by starting and growing a successful business. Let me repeat that - You can have virtually everything you want if you work hard and start and/or grow a successful company.
It's that simple. Anyone who falls for Maria the Psychic's scam should be ashamed of themselves. Success simply does not come without hard work.
I have, unfortunately, seen people work very hard for others and not achieve the success they wanted. That is why starting your own company is so critical if you have not already done so.
Work hard. Work smart (I consider working "smart" as investing in expert information that allows you to choose and complete your tasks more effectively and efficiently). And most of those 33 wishes WILL come true.