Two of the biggest retail investor-focused companies in p2p lending are merging.
Regular readers may remember that NSR Invest started as Lend Academy Investments, which I wrote about back when they started in 2014 as a retail investor option for those that wanted to easy investment access to p2p loans. NSR lets you set it and forget it. I was fortunate enough to be there in person with co-founders Bo Brustkern and Jason Jones when they announced the formation of what would become NSR Invest since they happened to announce it at a fintech meeting here in Atlanta. Bo, who will be the CEO of the new entity, is one of my oldest fintech contacts back to 2013 when I started the blog.
Lending Robot started with a focus on retail investors as well. Their focus was on investing tools using tech to automate the loan selection process for investors like us as well as the bigger guys. LR also has a blockchain component which they use not for investment or tokens, but for client transparency. They use Ethereum to create their auditable ledger. This use of blockchain for its auditable nature is something we may see in the future not just in finance but in medicine, identity or even government.
Both firms decided, at different times, to become a registered investment advisor (RIA), giving them more money management options available for those interested in p2p lending whether as an individual or institutional investor and offer services designed for wealth managers.
So Why Merge?
The press release says they will be the largest robo-advisor in marketplace lending. That’s pretty cool.
Their skills as businesses are different yet complementary. Lending Robot is all about the tech when NSR has gone the same conventional money management route that a hedge fund would with some of the sharpest, most experienced people in p2p lending. NSR brings more clients and money management skills while LR brings the latest in algorithm based trading, machine learning, and blockchain into the p2p lending spaces.
It’s the money management firm for the 21st century and beyond. Congrats to Bo, Jason, Peter, Lending Robot CEO Emmanuel Marot and both teams.