Its results for Q1 2017, published on Thursday, however, indicate its improvement has stalled, and reveal few significant changes within the organization.
Overall performance is generally down, despite some minor bright spots. Origination volume slipped 1% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) from $1.99 billion to $1.96 billion in Q1, marking a 29% year-over-year (YoY) decline from $2.75 billion in Q1 2016.
This is likely why net revenue also fell QoQ, by 5% from $130.5 million to $124.5 million in the period. Admittedly, losses narrowed from $32.3 million in Q4 2016 to $29.8 million in Q1, but only by 8%. Banks also apparently continued to regain their confidence in the company, now accounting for 40% of investment in the platform, up by 7% QoQ, and 6% YoY. While the declines in originations and net revenue were mild, so was the narrowing of losses; meaning that overall, performance was relatively stagnant.
Lending Club again stated that it's pursuing growth, but gave little evidence of how it's doing this. In the results call, CEO Scott Samborn pointed to continued investment in growth areas, including Lending Club's technology platform and its underwriting capabilities — but these are the most basic elements of its business, rather than new initiatives. This suggests that the company doesn't have a clear growth strategy or measurable goals. And while it's possible that it wants to return to the growth rates it saw in 2014, this would require more dramatic changes than we have so far seen. It's also worth noting that several of its peers have stopped chasing outsized growth, having decided it's unsustainable in the long run, which should give Lending Club food for thought.
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