Created:

2015-04-30

Canaan Partners: There is a Fundamental Disruption in Financial Services Occurring Right Now – Crowdfund Insider

Canaan Partners, one of the Sandhill Road posse in Silicon Valley, is a VC firm that has moved big into the alternative finance space. With over $4.2 billion under management they have the fire power, and the tool kit, to move quickly into promising, early stage companies.  Canaan targets two sectors; Technology and Healthcare companies which are based mainly in the US, India and Israel. Canaan leans towards seed and early stage funding with about 80% of its investments targeting early rounds.

In 2014 they had 5 “unicorns” or VC home runs. But within the Tech vertical is the subcategory of FinTech – one of the hottest investment sectors over the past several years. The poster child for FinTech success is arguably LendingClub which stands as the 4th largest US internet IPO ever.  Zero to multi-billions in about 6 years, the financial firm was started by Renaud Laplanche back in 2006 when he was comparing the disconnect between rates paid by credit card holders and interest earned by savers at banks.  Canaan Partners led the Series A for $10.26 million back in 2007 – an investment that would qualify as knockout success.  It has been estimated that Canaan partners got into Lending Club for around $0.27 per share.  Sure they had to wait a few years to cash in but a 55X or so return was probably worth it.
Canaan continues to be engaged with Lending Club and General Partner Dan Ciporin is on the board.  He has also taken board seats on several other FinTech startups in which Canaan has an interest. In a presentation at the LendIt conference held earlier this month Ciporin spoke about the success and ongoing opportunity of marketplace lending. While this sector is measured in mere billions today – most industry followers believe the numbers will soon be measured in trillions. But the main focus of his presentation was real estate and the emerging opportunity for crowdfunding platforms to disrupt the traditional financing structure.  He closed by saying the old world [of finance] is gone.

Since the fortuitous investment in Lending Club, Canaan has participated in funding rounds of multiple, innovative online financial platforms including: Borro, CircleUp, EVEN Financial, Orchard,Realty Mogul and others. From crowdfunding to peer to peer to services – Canaan is spanning the spectrum of disruptive finance.

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"... generating some of the highest approval rates and conversion rates among our online acquisition partners. The transparency and focus on data have allowed us to drive consistent growth and success each month. "

"... a streamlined consumer experience, helping millennials with no collateral, budget, or saved money. Even’s impressive matching algorithms simplify the process of finding the best personal loans to meet your needs."

"... a truly modern and easy to use platform for the financial services marketing world. They make it easy to develop consumer friendly, innovative products in a space dominated by legacy platforms."

"... Their wide-reaching network and tech integrations bring in qualified, high-converting leads, and their team has been a pleasure to work with. "

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