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.
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.