The marketplace lender Avant is expanding operations to Canada. The Chicago based lender has facilitated $1.6 bn in loans, providing credit to 300,000 people in the US and UK to date. Able to provide money on the same day as approval, Avant is now looking to provide its services across Canada. Al Goldstein – Avant CEO – commented on the news:
“Our presence in Canada provides more consumers with access to affordable consumer loans"
"Too few consumers have reliable access to responsible credit. Avant is addressing this void in the marketplace and creating more accurate credit profiles of consumers through big data and machine-learning. We are fulfilling an unmet need among the middle class which has spurred Avant's exceptional growth."
"Our mission is to lower the costs and barriers of borrowing for middle-income consumers around the world"
Mr Goldstein continued on the international presence and expansion of Avant:
"On a global scale, we plan to launch another international geography and add new financial products to the Avant brand. Avant is able to continue fueling this growth due to the success of our Avant Institutional Marketplace, which has received a positive response from the investor community and is a new source of capital for Avant."
The Avant Institutional Marketplace, launched in April, allows institutional investors to purchase loans originated by the platform. On launch, Avant’s partner KKR pledged $400 million in funding. Back in May, when Avant celebrated hitting the $1 bn mark, Mr Goldstein spoke about the significance of the marketplace approach and it appears that the model continues to pick up traction with investors.
In a report from June, AltFi questioned whether the Canadian regulator was being overly restrictive and preventing the growth of the alternative finance market. But alternative finance solutions do seem to be trickling in. Just this week, Fundrise announced that it is allowing Canadian investors to use its platform and, back in August, AltFi reported on how peer-to-peer lender Grouplend had closed a major funding round. The Canadian market appears to be coming to life.