Grouplend, Canada’s First Online Lending Marketplace, Expands Its Offering Across the Country

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Grouplend, Canada’s first online marketplace lender, announced today that it has expanded to serve customers from all provinces across the country, with the exception of Quebec and Nova Scotia. The model of marketplace lending, or peer-to-peer lending, that the Vancouver-based startup is employing has seen remarkable success in other parts of the world with similar online lenders expected to issue over US$6 billion this year in the U.S. alone.

Grouplend Canada's Online Marketplace Lender

Grouplend, Canada’s first online marketplace lender, announced today that it has expanded to serve customers from all provinces across the country, with the exception of Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The model of marketplace lending, or peer-to-peer lending, that the Vancouver-based startup is employing has seen remarkable success in other parts of the world with similar online lenders expected to issue over US$6 billion this year in the U.S. alone. Lending Club, the largest of the American contingent, is in the final stages of an IPO that could value the company at more than US$5 billion. While the model is new to Canada, it has quickly shown significant traction since Grouplend launched earlier this year.

Much like Lending Club, Grouplend connects investors looking for stable returns on their money with consumers searching for unsecured loans at more affordable rates. Existing entirely online, Grouplend is able to operate more efficiently and at a much lower cost than traditional retail banks that manage multiple branches and rely on manual, paper-based processes.

These cost savings are passed on to consumers in the form of a more affordable alternative to carrying credit card balances and other higher interest personal loan products. Compared to credit cards, Grouplend customers can save 30-70% in interest expense.

“Banking in Canada doesn’t work for regular Canadians anymore,” says Kevin Sandhu, Grouplend’s CEO. “We’re accustomed to high fees, high interest rates, and poor customer service. For years, the sector as a whole has failed to innovate.”

Sandhu’s words are an indictment of an industry that will rake in a record-setting $31.9 billion in profit this year between the big five Canadian banks. As the banks’ profits balloon, the picture isn’t so rosy for the average Canadian family. TransUnion reports that the average Canadian consumer will hold over $28,000 in consumer and credit card debt by the end of 2014.

“Banks are making a fortune, and they’re taking it right from the pockets of everyday consumers through exorbitant fees and high interest rates on credit cards and consumer loans,” says Sandhu. “Online lenders are an alternative to that. We think responsible, middle class Canadians deserve more affordable access to the money that they need to live their lives."

He’s banking on the fact that Canadians feel the same way.

About Grouplend:

Grouplend, Canada’s first online lending platform, is challenging the status quo in Canadian banking by offering more affordable rates on personal loans and delivering a friendly, personalized customer experience. The platform uses custom-built technology that allows Canadians to apply and qualify for a loan in under 3 minutes — all without affecting their credit score. Entirely online and easy-to-use, Grouplend makes borrowing refreshingly simple.

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Joseph Seo
Grouplend
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