Peer-to-peer loan specialist Lending Club has filed with US regulators for an initial public offering in which it hopes to raise $500 million.
The number of shares to be sold and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Citi have been brought in as underwriters.
Lending Club launched in 2007, providing an online forum where potential borrowers and lenders can thrash out terms of a deal. Initially it operated within Facebook but soon broke out, claiming strong interest in its services.
However, the following year the start-up, and the entire nascent social lending industry, ran into regulatory trouble. Lending Club and rivals Prosper and Loanio were all forced to stop taking new loans and register with the SEC.
Since overcoming these hurdles, the company has gone from strength to strength, establishing itself as the industry leader. It has now facilitated more than $5 billion in consumer and business loans, $1 billion of which came in just the quarter ending at the end of June.
Last May Google become a minority stake-holder in the platform after leading a $125 million deal to buy a share in the peer-to-peer loan specialist from existing investors. Big hitters including former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and ex Morgan Stanley boss John Mack are on its board.