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Growth of Marketplace Lending Events

As marketplace lending continues to grow, so have the conferences and events that support our industry. This post will discuss the outstanding growth of these conferences and events, along with the trends we have seen unfold over the past couple of years.

 

Orchard was founded in 2013 and at that time there was only one conference that captured the burgeoning peer-to-peer industry—LendIt. Produced by Peter Renton, Founder of LendAcademy, LendIt was the first p2p lending conference that gathered investors who wanted to learn more about online lending, and technology companies that were building tools to help manage investments in the space. Two of Orchard’s co-founders, Matt Burton and Angela Ceresnie, spoke at that conference and presented an overview of the basics of consumer credit and what institutional investors needed to consider when investing. However, before LendIt’s inaugural conference was announced, Orchard created and hosted the first ever Peer-to-Peer/ Marketplace Lending Meetup on April 24th at Spitzers in the Lower East Side. It drew just seven attendees and the topic for that event was p2p lending best practices.

 

Let’s take a look at how these events have grown in number, attendance and geography:

 

LendIt
Date Attendees Location
June 2013 350 New York City, USA
May 2014 950 San Francisco, USA
July 2014 400 Shanghai, China
November 2014 456 London, UK
April 2015 2493 New York City, USA

 

Orchard Marketplace Lending Meetup
Date Meetups Members added per year
2013 8 414
2014 17 621
2015 (through August) 15

(5+ scheduled for rest of 2015)

827

 

Looking at LendIt’s New York City conference, we see a 612% growth in attendees over a two-year period. The geographic diversity signals global interest in online lending, and in July of 2015, LendIt China was held in Shanghai and Beijing with thousands of attendees. For Orchard’s Meetups, which are mostly held in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles have extended to Miami, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Carlsbad, D.C. Atlanta, Boston and London, we see a 101% growth in members from 2013 through August of 2015. Today we have a total of 1862 members and we expect to have a couple hundred more members by the end of the year.

 

At Orchard, we track every industry event, and we have seen tremendous growth in the number of marketplace lending conferences this year alone. When Orchard first launched, we tracked a handful of conferences such as LendIt, ABS West & East for their Peer-to-Peer Lending Symposium, and AltFi Global Summit. Today we track over 100 events and keep the events page of our website up to date to let the industry know when we’re hosting Meetups, have discount codes like the one for LendIt Europe in October, or plan to attend a conference. If you have a marketplace lending conference you would like us to list, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

One of the trends we have noticed at Orchard is the increase in stand-alone marketplace lending conferences. In the past few years, several of the more traditional finance focused conferences would have a track or breakout session dedicated to p2p lending. Today we see that several of these conference organizations are producing one to two day conferences dedicated to marketplace lending alone. We’ve been asked to be advisors and/or speakers for many of these conferences and have noticed the following discussion-points addressed:

  • LendIt 2013 marked a watershed moment for the industry and we saw the shift in terminology from p2p lending to marketplace lending.
  • Online lending is global and both retail and institutional investors are essential to the growth of this industry.
  • Banks are now hosting their own events to learn more about how they should participate in the space. Banks are also looking to participate in marketplace lending focused conferences such as LendIt and AltFi.
  • We’re all watching to see how regulation evolves. How will the U.S. Treasury step in to regulate marketplace lending?
  • The movement has arrived: People are no longer asking what marketplace lending is, but rather asking how each player participates. Just look at the agendas for these upcoming events:

 

Conclusion

Marketplace Lending is no longer “alternative finance” but rather the future of credit. More investors and originators alike from a broader array of financial industries around the world are not only paying attention but also actively participating and shaping the industry’s evolution. The Orchard events page is a great resource to help you learn more.