By Ryan Weeks on 10th August 2017
Two investor-facing aggregators merge in the US in an effort dominate the alternative lending sector.
A leading investment manager in the peer-to-peer/marketplace lending sector is beefing up. NSR Invest, which manages portfolios of P2P loans on behalf of institutions, individuals and their advisors, has acquired LendingRobot, which is perhaps the world’s only robo-advisor to have dedicated itself to the marketplace lending sector.
Lend Core LLC, the parent company of NSR Invest, has acquired Algorithmic, Inc. and all of its assets, including the LendingRobot website and technology. LendingRobot makes use of investment algorithms, machine learning and blockchain technologies to build bespoke portfolios of marketplace loans for its users. Over the years it has worked with LendingClub, Prosper, Funding Circle and Lending Home.
Lend Core LLC currently serves over 8,000 clients and manages more than $150m in assets. The company believes that LendingRobot’s technology edge will spur on further growth.
In the first instance, the merged companies will be focusing their energies on LendingRobot Series, which is being billed as unique in that it adapts to fit with each investor’s needs, according to their specific duration and risk tolerance. The Series fund also leverages blockchain technology to keep an immutable ledger notarised by Ethereum Blockchain, which is said to boost both the transparency and security of the vehicle.
Bo Brustkern, co-founder and CEO of NSR Invest, will lead the combined entity as CEO, while former LendingRobot CEO Emmanuel Marot will serve as a special advisor to the company.
“We have long respected the work of the LendingRobot team and recognise that our companies are pursuing a common goal,” said Brustkern. “That is, to provide a unifying investment solution for the millions of investors worldwide who seek the attractive, uncorrelated, diversified returns that alternative lending can provide. With this combination of our firms, we are bringing enhanced capabilities to our combined client bases today, and big plans for the future.”
Asked about the rationale behind the transaction, Brustkern said that the acquisition will put the combined entities “fully in the black” (i.e. profitable), which is rare for a robo-advisor. NSR boasts financial expertise, industry nous and a strong network, but the implication is that LendingRobot will substantially boost its technological capabilities. Brustkern clearly believes the marriage to be a smart match.
“A shining example of the kind of innovation that we will emphasise is the Lending Robot Series Fund, which provides customisation, liquidity and diversification to investors through a novel, elegant, low-cost fund structure,” he said.
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.