Emmanuel Marot of LendingRobot

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We are back with another profile and this week we have Emmanuel Marot from LendingRobot,

Our questions are in bold.

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Emmanuel Marot, CEO and co-founder of LendingRobot

1. Who are you and what’s your background?
I’m Emmanuel Marot. I’m a serial entrepreneur, who came to the US after selling my previous startup to Microsoft. Although I studied business and finance, I spent most of my work in marketing and design.

2. What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
I’m the CEO and co-founder of LendingRobot. Besides general management of the company, I oversee the user experience provided by our product, our machine-learning algorithm and everything related to marketing and communication.

3. Can you give us an overview of your business?
We’re a “Robot-Adviser” for marketplace lending. We use the same kind of sophisticated, high-speed algorithms created by hedge funds, but offer them to individual investors as an affordable web service; and we focus exclusively on ‘marketplace lending’, which is a new kind of asset allowing money lending to people or businesses without a bank in-between.

4. Tell us how you are funded.
We raised a Series A in January 2015, with Runa Capital as the lead investor

5. Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
My co-founder and I were both investing personally in Lending Club, the largest consumer-credit lending marketplace in the US. We loved the high returns and low risk, but found that investing was complicated, time-consuming, and very competitive. We both have founded multiple Internet-based services before, and thought we could automate everything.

6. Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
LendingRobot is mostly for individual investors. We charge only 0.45% of assets under management, without any minimum amount, setup or exit fees. We even manage the first $5,000 for free.

I wish we could communicate what our clients tell us about how they like the service. Unfortunately, as a registered investment advisor, we can’t show any testimonials!

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LendingRobot dashboard

7. If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
You may know the joke about someone visiting a marina in New York, and after being shown many stupendous boats, asked: ‘but where are the client’s yachts?’. I find it painfully inefficient that some people in the finance industry make a fortune without bringing any significant value to their clients or society.

8. What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
Hold on, there’s a pretty rough ride ahead

9. What phone are you carrying and why?
iPhone 6. I started my professional career as Product Manager at Apple, so I’m kind of loyal to that brand!

10. Where do you get your industry news from?
LinkedIn groups and Twitter, mostly. I also use Google Alerts and Mention.com to keep on top of company-specific news.

11. Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
Peter Renton (@LendAcademy) who’s a kind of reference point in marketplace lending.
Simon Cunningham (@LendingMemo) who is also a very active blogger in the space, and write interesting articles for individual investors.
Charles Fitzgerald (@charlesfitz) who’s an active business angel in the Seattle area and is keen on fin-tech

12. What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
I’m still in love with Lending Club.

13. Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
There’s a very big wave of change coming, I think the whole industry will be completely re-defined 20 years from now.

Finance is at heart, an intermediation activity, with 2 main components: transactions, and decisions. With the Internet, transactions can be processed at zero marginal cost, while machine-based decision processes will make everything happen in real time. Activities like investing, lending or borrowing will happen in the background, continuously, and at speed unmanageable by humans.

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Thanks to Emmanuel for his answers today!

Find out more about LendingRobot on their website and twitter, Facebook and Google+

If you’ve any suggestions for other hot FinTech companies (startup, or established ventures) that we should be profiling, I’m all ears. Don’t hesitate to drop me a note at ewan@fintechprofile.com. There’s more information on this page.


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