The value of partnerships

March 20 2016 The Lendable Blog


Behind every great company are great partners. No, this is not a quote or a truism, but it is sure as hell true. Just one and half years ago, Lendable consisted of two cousins sitting in a cafe in Oakland, CA trying to figure out how to help 100m people get access to finance. The typical story of blood sweat and tears would lead you to believe progress comes from sheer determination, but in our experience, it comes from people that believe in a crazy idea and the team behind it.


We have been lucky along the way to have people that believed in us and our vision. As we start 2016, we have been thinking a lot about what makes a good partner. Based on our experience there are some key ingredients:

  • Ruthless honesty. The partners that provide the most valuable are those that ask uncomfortable questions and point us towards uncomfortable truths. They don’t placate or sugar coat and they expect the same treatment.
  • Clear delineation of value. Good partners are clear about what they can and can’t do. Not everyone needs to be a value added investor, but everyone needs to be honest with themselves.
  • Ice water in their veins. They don’t panic, they don’t get too excited, and they ground you when you need it.
  • Humans that aren’t afraid to be humans. Businesses are groups of humans trying to solve a problem together. The business lives or dies on the back of those humans. Good partners understands that a business partnership starts with a human partnership and all of the joys and baggage associated with that.


2015 was good to Lendable. It brought us partners that not only put their money where their mouths are, but also their hands where their money is. We are very humbled and proud to announce partnerships with Ceniarth, Shell Foundation, Fenway Summer Ventures, DFID, the Packard Foundation and a group of angel investors from technology and financial services (mentioned below). They provide us with the needed capital to prove that you can create a technology driven secondary market for consumer credit in East Africa. Like us, they believe that much like Orchard Platform, LendingRobot, and Fiserv, in the United States, Lendable can quantify risk, make investing easy, and access the portfolios of lots of originators. More importantly, they provide us with the networks, expertise, and validation that is required to bring finance to 500,000,000 individuals that don’t currently have access.


We look forward to working with them in 2016 and beyond. Together we will bring transparency and efficiency to developing world credit, and with some luck will finance 100 million consumers and small businesses in the developing world that need access to crucial assets and services.


Thanks to the following individuals: Josh Green, Mitch Lowe, Dillon McDonald, John Bautista, Richie Prager, Shu Adachi, and Nicholas Gruen.