Consumer lending platform Avant continues to charge ahead, surpassing the $3bn mark in loan originations.
Avant was founded in November 2012 as a balance-sheet based consumer lending platform, with a strong emphasis on the use of big data, automation and machine-learning. Avant rolled out a marketplace sales programme in April 2015, allowing institutional investors to tap into the platform’s deal flow. $1.8bn has to date been invested through the marketplace, making up the larger part of the $3bn in lending that has been facilitated by the platform to date.
The US-based platform has a presence in Canada and in the UK, where it trades under the name AvantCredit. The UK operation crossed the £100m mark in cumulative loan originations in October last year. The various Avant platforms have issued a grand total of 480,000 loans globally. The platform crossed the $1bn mark in cumulative loan originations as recently as May last year, and we understand that close to $2bn in loans were originated in 2015 alone. Avant projects doubling its loan portfolio to around $6bn by the close of 2016.
The platform last raised equity capital in October 2015, pulling in $325m in a Series E round that was led by private equity firm General Atlantic.
Avant CEO Al Goldstein weighed in on the $3bn milestone:
"This is a huge accomplishment and speaks to the market demand for affordable and accessible personal loans. Avant has achieved massive growth while staying focused on our mission of expanding responsible access to credit for middle-class consumers. More than 480,000 loans have been issued through Avant and we expect that number to increase dramatically in the year ahead. To reach $3 billion in originations with an average loan size today of $8,000 illustrates the consumer need for this type of product."
Looking ahead, Avant has stated its intention of launching a number of new financial products in the year ahead, dubbing auto financing products – including auto secured loans and direct to consumer auto refinancing – as “the next frontier” for the company. The platform is also sizing up the launch of a credit card product, a move which very few alternative finance providers have to date undertaken.