Peer-to-peer transaction capabilities are part of the Lending Club story, a company that is stepping in where banks have let the market down, making loans and matching those loans with debt investors. CEO Renaud Laplanche said, "Disruption is about upending the status quo to deliver a profoundly better solution." So far its solution is working well.
Lending Club revenue increased more than five times from 2010 to 2012, reaching $34 million in 2012. The company turned the corner on profitability in the first quarter 2013, and projects $90 million in revenue for 2013. It's already loaned out $1.7 trillion and paid investors $151 million in interest. While creating a new platform for loan investors, Lending Club is attracting more big investors to its concept: Google just took part in a $125 million secondary equity offering executed by the company's early backers.
Kickstarter and CircleUp, in particular, have created two of the most successful early models for crowdfunded startup capital.
Kickstarter likes to think of itself as a creative project funding mechanism rather than an alternative to VC, but the line is being blurred. Gaming company OUYA, which raised $8.5 million on Kickstarter, recently graduated to a $15 million round of venture capital led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Kickstarter now has 31 projects that have raised more than $1 million.
(Read more: How Quirky Is Becoming a Disruptive Manufacturer)
CircleUp now has the most accredited investors of any crowdfunding site in history. It also has something few startups can boast about: Clayton Christensen, "the father of disruptive innovation," is an investor.
"A disruptive business model expands participation in the market by lowering the cost to serve previously unprofitable customers, typically through the introduction of a new technology or business process," said Ryan Caldbeck, CircleUp CEO.
Caldbeck's "previously unprofitable customers" are all over the financial services disruptor map. It's the clients that Wealthfront is after whom would never get the attention of private banks. It's the independent filmmakers funding projects through Kickstarter—among the most heavily funded project sectors for the platform—who would never see a dollar from the major entertainment market investors.
All of these companies are creating new market disruptions within finance and funding by reaching clients who never before "existed" or were "inferior" clients not worth the attention of the fatcats on Wall Street. Rachleff said new market disruptions are uneconomic for an incumbent to compete with, and that's an important advantage.
(Read More: The New Billion Dollar Democracy)
The barriers to entry in financial services and capital formation have come down, and downscale. In retail, Rent the Runway lets you wear the same dress as the nominated actress at the Oscars. Even if you don't dress like a bond trader or banker, with the help of algorithms, Kickstarter "gift" givers, and peer-to-peer networks, these days it's possible for the crafter, independent filmmaker, Facebook employee and CEO of teen skincare product company Willagirl (a CircleUp company) to take a disruptive walk down Wall Street.