US-listed search engine provider Google has bought a minority stake in unsecured personal loans provider Lending Club as part of a $125m secondaries deal. Google and venture capital firm Foundation Capital, were among buyers acquiring shares from existing investors in Lending Club at a reported $1.55bn valuation. David Lawee, vice-president of corporate development at Google, will take an observer seat on Lending Club’s board. In December, Lawee was reported by newswire Reuters to be moving from mergers and acquisitions at Google to leading a late-stage corporate venturing unit and a month later took an observer position at questionnaire company SurveyMonkey as part of Google’s investment in the $444m round at a $1.35bn valuation. He said: “Lending Club is using the internet to reshape the financial system and profoundly transform the way people think of credit and investment.” Lending Club said it had more than $1.65bn in loans facilitated since inception in 2007, including over $350 million in the previous quarter. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, LC Advisors, has launched several funds in the past two years and now has more than $450m in assets under management at the end of last month. These funds effectively provide the capital to Lending Club’s customers. In July, Peter Thomson, chairman of family office Thomvest and director of news and data provider Thomson Reuters, became a cornerstone investor in the Broad-Based Consumer Credit (Q) Fund managed by LC Advisors. This investment is in addition to Thomson’s September 2011 cornerstone investment in the Conservative Consumer Credit fund, also managed by LC Advisors.

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