Nobody is a bigger champion of the emerging online lending industry than venture capitalist Charles Moldow.
A general partner at Silicon Valley firm Foundation Capital, Moldow was an early backer of LendingClub and OnDeck Capital, which both held initial public offerings in December. And last year, he published a white paper that's been widely cited on the trillion-dollar market opportunity in what he termed marketplace lending.
So when an entrepreneur who wants to crack the fast-growing online debt market gets a dinner invite from Moldow, attendance is a no-brainer—especially when many of the industry's biggest names will also be at the table.
That's the setting Monday night for Moldow's second annual dinner tied to the burgeoning LendIt conference. In addition to the top execs from LendingClub and OnDeck, joining Moldow in New York will be the CEOs of start-ups including SoFi, LendingHome, Funding Circle, Orchard, RateSetter out of the U.K. and Germany's auxmoney.
"Last year, the conversation was intense for three-and-a-half straight hours," said Moldow, who's also an investor in LendingHome, auxmoney and a personal backer of Chinese online lender Dianrong. "There was a lot of energy around—when LendingClub goes public, this industry is going to explode."
Now LendingClub, which primarily facilitates consumer loans, is public with a market capitalization of about $7 billion, and business lender OnDeck is valued at $1.4 billion. Additionally, LendingClub rival Prosper Marketplace just raised private capital at a $1.87 billion valuation.