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Student lending fintech nabs another $50m in series D

A number of banks have participated in the platform’s latest funding round.

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A number of banks have participated in the platform’s latest funding round.

CommonBond, a leading student lending platform in the US, has announced a $50m series D funding round.

Fifth Third Capital Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, led the round, with money also coming from First Republic Bank and Columbia Seligman Investments. Existing investors Neuberger Berman, August Capital and Nyca Partners also piled in.

CommonBond has now raised over $130m to date. Its last fundraise came in July 2016, a $30m fundraise led by Neuberger Berman. At that time, CommonBond also announced the acquisition of personal finance platform Gradible, paving its way into the 401(k) student loan market, which entails enabling employers to offer student loan products to their workers. The technology that delivers this service has been branded CommonBond for Business. As of today, more than 200 firms are signed up to the service.

CommonBond has funded over $1.5bn loans to date. It claims to offer a complete suite of student loan solutions, including refinancing options, new loans for current students and student loans as an employee benefit.

“This round of equity powers our expansion as a leader in fintech, enabling more ways for us to improve the financial health of our members,” said David Klein (pictured), CEO and co-founder of CommonBond.

“We've set out to build a great company for the long term by focusing on the fundamentals – exceptional customer experience, best-in-class technology, and a culture of respect and discipline. I'm incredibly proud of the team for maintaining maniacal focus on our customers and broader stakeholders, positioning the company exceedingly well to continue scaling on behalf of our members.”

Tim Spence, head of payments, strategy and digital solutions and Fifth Third Bank described student debt as the “number one challenge” faced by the bank’s millennial customers. He added that he looks forward to working with CommonBond to bring “powerful capabilities to market”.

CommonBond has been in-and-out of the news a fair bit lately, scoring its first triple A-rated securitisation just a few weeks ago. 

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David Klein

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