Online lending platform scores $12.5M in Series A funding

Orchard Platform is getting money from two VC firms, as well as a slew of wealthy individuals and former financial industry execs.  

Orchard Platform, an online investment and analytics platform focused on the global lending market has raised $12 million in Series A funding, the company announced yesterday (21 October). This brings the total investment in Orchard to $14.7m.

Venture capital firms Spark Capital and Canaan Partners, which led the round, were joined by additional individual investors, including John Mack, former chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley; Hans Morris, former president of Visa and managing partner at NYCA; Nigel Morris, managing partner at QED Investors and co-founder of Capital One Financial Services; and existing investors Tom Glocer, former chief executive of Thomson Reuters; and Vikram Pandit, former chief executive of Citigroup, among others. Orchard will use the funds to expand its team and accelerate the development of its technology platform.

Online direct lending allows borrowers to apply online for loans funded by a diverse set of investors including institutional investors. 

Also styled as peer-to-peer lending, the sector has been growing and becoming a more visible part of the marketplace both in the US and Europe. Earlier this week, PDI also reported on LendingClub's planned IPO.

“We are in the early stages of a massive change to the credit markets, which we believe will transform lending. Orchard's goal is to build the next generation of credit. Since founding the company one year ago, we have witnessed the emergence of a virtuous cycle that is driving benefits for all market participants,” said Orchard co-founder and chief executive Matt Burton in a statement. 

Founded in New York in 2013, Orchard focuses on building the systems and infrastructure that will allow marketplace lending to grow into a major financial market. Orchard enables institutional investors to scale their investment in the space by providing investment strategy, real-time trading and reporting, analytics and access to supply.

Spark Capital is a venture capital firm that partners with successful entrepreneurs. Founded in 2005, Spark manages about $1.8 billion across five funds. With headquarters in Boston, Spark has offices in New York and San Francisco and invests across the globe. The firm focuses on advertising & monetization, commerce & services, content & media, hardware & infrastructure, mobile and social sectors.

Canaan Partners has been investing in entrepreneurs for 30 years. With about $4.2 billion under management and 160 deals to date, Canaan has funded a number of technology companies including Ebates, Kabam, Lending Club, and Skybox Imaging.

Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Canaan also has offices in New York City and Westport, Connecticut.