Curql invests in 10th Enterprise and acquires a minority stake in LoanStreet
The Curql I CUSO Fund has invested in its tenth company: LoanStreet Inc., an online platform for sharing, managing and analyzing loans.
Nick Evens, President and CEO of Curql Collectivea CUSO that acts as the fund’s general partner, did not say how much was invested in LoanStreet, but said the fund has now invested $40 million to acquire minority stakes in the 10 entities.
In an interview with CU time On Wednesday, Evens said LoanStreet meets the criteria for “transformative technologies” sought by the Curql Collective’s board of directors. He said the platform is already used to manage loan participations by more than 1,000 credit unions, and its benefits include ease of use, robust analytics and transparency that allow buyers and sellers to view the information needed to approve transactions.
On Tuesday, New York-based LoanStreet announced that it had closed a $25 million Series B funding round led by Portage Ventures to accelerate the growth of its lending ecosystem.
In addition to Curql Fund I, LoanStreet said Coastal Financial Corp. and Sterling Bancorp had joined as new investors. The round also had participation from existing investors Third Prime Capital and Arbor Ventures.
With the $25 million seed round, LoanStreet has now attracted a total institutional investment of $39 million.
LoanStreet said it will use the investment to accelerate adoption of its market-leading equity platform for loan trading and reporting; expand the capabilities of its loan analytics offerings; and continue to develop its next-generation commercial loan management solution.
Adam Felesky, co-founder and CEO of Toronto-based Portage Ventures, said LoanStreet is “uniquely positioned as a provider of mission-critical lending infrastructure with scalable solutions that can benefit all lenders, from the smallest to the largest and most sophisticated”.
“We see tremendous potential for LoanStreet’s technology to become a ubiquitous everyday tool within U.S. credit unions, banks and direct lenders, as well as significant opportunities for growth in the Canadian market and beyond,” said Felesky said.
LoanStreet’s CEO is Ian Lampl, the US Treasury Department’s former TARP Deputy Chief Counsel during the financial crisis. He founded LoanStreet in 2013 to address the acute need he saw for a standardized and automated loan sharing platform.
Lampl said the new investment will allow LoanStreet to continue to develop digital lending and balance sheet management solutions for a growing number of customers.
“From the beginning, we have strived to facilitate the management of financial institutions’ loan portfolios. We’re proud of the rails we’ve built that make the lending ecosystem more transparent and liquid,” Lampl said.
Curql is pronounced like “circle” and is based in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Curql Collective and the venture capital fund Curql Fund I were created in 2020 and are managed by credit unions. The management and due diligence of the fund is carried out by Next Level Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Curql Fund I closed to investors on October 31 after raising $252 million, surpassing its initial target of $150 million.
The fund is designed to invest in technologies that improve the way credit unions interact with their members and the way members interact with their money. She had planned to invest 80% of her fund within five years. But Evens said he is now on track to invest about $200 million within four years, or about $50 million a year. With $40 million invested so far in 10 companies, he now expects her to invest in eight more before the end of the year.