CommunityLend in 2010: Groundwork
Background: Financial services is one of the largest industries in Canada, and 90% of it is controlled by the “Big 5″ Canadian banks. Despite a myriad of products and services, it mostly boils down to taking consumer deposits on one hand, and then lending to consumers on the other.
CommunityLend is the most important new venture in Canadian Financial Services today because it takes aim at this core business model with something disruptive. It’s not about payment processing (like PayPal, ZoomPass), or mortgage lead generation (like LendingTree), but something larger still. CommunityLend is a disruptive new model for borrowing and lending. (Check out the site!)
After 3 years as an enthusiastic advisor, I joined CommunityLend full-time as CTO in August this year. I’ll humbly include my joining in this year’s list of milestones:
- Publicly launched the consumer P2P loan marketplace. (Only in Ontario & Quebec.) 7 other companies have tried, such as ioucentral, but CommunityLend is the only company with the regulatory approval to operate an online loan marketplace like this.
- Tim Gleeson joined as CCO. Tremendous background as a Portfolio Manager at Mackenzie and as founder of a asset management firm.
- Announced partnership with Strength Finance, our first major channel partnership.
- John Philip Green joined as CTO.
- Added British Columbia. Increases availability to 73% of Canadians.
- Paul Sehr joined as Director of Engineering. Paul is a fantastic engineer with good product sensibilities. We are really lucky to have him.
- Casper Wong joined as Director of Operations & Business Development. I love working with this guy. Great experience from easyHome and BMO.
- Beta launched FinanceIt.ca Sales Financing platform. For more, see this great FinanceIt.ca strategy analysis by WiseClerk.
- Launched a major partnership with AutoTrader.ca, which has over $3B in private auto listings per year.
- Closing the year out with over $7M in loan demand.
- Already over $12M of committed investor capital to deploy into consumer loans in 2011.
This was an important year of groundwork. In 2011 we will really start disrupt the financial services industry.