Friday May 19 2017, Daily News Digest

digital income/expense variability

News Comments Today’s main news: Ron Suber: To guy to know in fintech. Funding Circle passes Zopa in cumulative lending. Dianrong, Ng to launch global fintech marketplace. Australian banks forced to refund $200M. Paytm raises $1.4B from SoftBank. Today’s main analysis: Fintech alternatives to short-term small-dollar credit. Today’s thought-provoking articles: A review of the biggest allocations in consumer lending. OJK’s […]

digital income/expense variability

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To get ahead in fintech, you need to be in touch with everybody’s go-to guy: Ron Suber (Biz Journals), Rated: AAA

Ron Suber’s job title is president of Prosper Marketplace. It barely describes the role he’s assumed at the center of San Francisco’s flourishing fintech community. Suber spends much of his time inexhaustibly networking, investing in and advising fintechs. He’s invested in 16 of them, including high-profile players like DocuSign and SoFi, and serves as an official adviser to a half dozen of them, at last count.

“Ron’s become the mayor of fintech,” said 

“I have a lot of time. I’m married for 26 years with two grown children,” he said. “I don’t have a girlfriend on the side. I don’t gamble and I don’t play golf, so I find myself with a lot of extra time for these investments and advising, in addition to my full-time job at Prosper.”

But it’s not just the network. A track record of picking winners early makes a great calling card. DocuSign, for instance, has grown to more than 200 million users and 300,000 paying customers. The company has Visa as a major investor and was recently valued at about $3 billion.

Getting access to Suber’s experience, and his network, is no simple task. He said he sizes up more than 30 business plans for every investment check he writes.

In 2008, Suber joined the father-son team of Stephan and Aaron Vermut at Merlin Securities, which also served hedge funds. After its sale to Wells Fargo four years later, Suber began investing in the loans and equity of a San Francisco fintech started by one of his former Wells Fargo colleagues, Mike Cagney’s SoFi. Soon he was also investing in hedge funds that were buying loans from Lending Club and Prosper. That gave him insight into the burgeoning growth these early marketplace lenders were enjoying.

In January 2013, Suber and the Vermuts raised $20 million to take control of Prosper in a financing led by Sequoia Capital.

Monthly lending went from $9 million to $420 million a month when the Vermuts and Suber took over Prosper as BlackRock, hedge funds and other big investors came on board to finance loans made over the Prosper platform.

Prosper, which recently crossed $9 billion in total loans originated through its platform, saw first-quarter loan originations jump 29 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016.

Prosper’s payroll also tells the story, with 77 employees when the new management team arrived in 2013, jumping to a high of 650 last year and now at about 400 people, with 40 job openings to be filled.