Cloud Lending Solutions (CLS) has closed an $8m Series A round.
Cloud Lending provides a range of SaaS (Software as a Service) products to both traditional lenders and fintech lenders alike, pitching itself as an “end-to-end solution”. Cloud Lending has been in and out of the headlines in recent times, first for launching the innovative Cloud Lending Exchange in May, and then again after having shed light on the CL Originate service in August. US marketplace lenders are generally speaking inundated with lending capital. The major challenge for most platforms is to maintain high quality levels of origination flow. Cloud Lending’s products intend to ease that burden by streamlining the process of customer acquisition.
The company’s $8m Series A has been led by SF Capital Group, with participation also coming from Cota Capital, Long Light Capital, and existing seed investors Green Visor and Epic Ventures. The $8m comes in addition to a $2m pre-Series A round that was raised by CLS in 2014. Neil Wolfson, President of SF Capital Group, is joining the company’s board of directors. Mr. Wolfson offered comment:
“The scale and scope of the alternative lending market’s growth wouldn’t be possible without forward thinking solutions that are fundamentally changing lending institutions of all sizes. As Cloud Lending continues to expand and bring unique solutions to market, more and more organizations will opt for next-generation technology, leave legacy systems behind, and step into the future of finance.”
We caught up with Snehal Fulzele, CEO of the company, to learn more about how the $8m is to be deployed. Snehal identified two factors that he perceives to be pivotal in determining the success of a non-bank lender: user experience and cost of acquisition. He said that much of the Series A money will go towards developing products that enhance performance in each of these key areas – what he described as a “supercharging” of Cloud Lending’s core functions. The company will also go on a hiring spree, with plans to double its headcount. Cloud Lending currently employs 80 people, and has one office in India and another in the US. Snehal also plans to boost the company’s presence in Europe by opening an office in the UK. Cloud Lending is already working with 6 or 7 European companies, several of which are peer-to-peer lenders.
Cloud Lending, which launched back in 2012, claims to have grown at a rate of over 300% over the past 12 months, and is now working with 75 customers in more than 20 countries. The company has been instrumental in bringing some of the alternative finance sector’s better known faces to market. DealStruck, for instance, first got off the ground with the help of CLS software. The relationship remains strong, with DealStruck CEO Ethan Senturia recently lauding Cloud Lending’s “outstanding suite of applications”. Both Snehal and Mr. Senturia will be speaking at the fast approaching AltFi Global Summit 2015.
Snehal weighed in on the successful Series A:
“Over the past three years, we have continued to develop our solutions to meet our customers unique needs, acting with the same agility and speed as our technology affords their businesses. This additional funding is a further validation of our mission and we are excited to continue driving this growth as well as expand our technology offering in current and new market segments such as commercial real estate and SMB lending, which are trillion dollar industries ripe for disruption.”
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.