About Me

Philip Cortes Co-Founded Meeteor.com.

Dual MBA/MA from UPenn.

Avid Ideologist.

This blog is my long winded startup post-mortem. 




SIgn Up for Blog Updates!

Entries in LendingClub.com (1)


Mr. Yunnus' Revolution - Microfinance and Its Many Iterations

Mr. Yunnus sure was onto something when he founded the Grameen Bank, the world’s first microfinance institution.  The concept that micro loans could have a significant impact on the well being and growth of a community was truly transformative, and many business models have since sprung from his first initiative.  Although Grameen founded microfinance it was Kiva that digitized the model, bringing peer to peer (P2P) lending to the 21st century. 

Other business models then built on both Grameen and Kiva’s revolutionary adaptations of microfinance, one of which was peer to peer credit loans.  On such adaptation is Vittana – a peer to peer lending platform focused on providing loans to students in developing countries.   I recently had the chance to have dinner with Mora Mcleon from the Africa America Institute, and she made an astute observation....Microfinance is a fantastic model for providing capital to communities seeking to develop, but in order for those communities to truly rise out of poverty, it is important to increase the level and depth of education.  The Africa America Insitute focuses on doing just that – providing capital to students in Africa seeking a higher education in business. What Vittana has done successfully, is adapted the micro lending model to a part of society that is usually forgotten as we view it as a public good – education.  

I would argue that loans to both micro enterprises AND education is necessary for the alleviation of poverty, and that both models are making great strides to simplifying the way individuals in the developing world can help. 

For those of us who believe that more should be done to tackle problems within our own country before we focus on the developing world, I have good news. LendingClub.com just scored 24.5m last week from Morganthaler, Norwest and Canaan.   This platform seeks to simplify the process through which individuals can loan money to one another, for anything.  We have Mr. Yunnus to thank for this revolution in lending, and I sure hope we carry this momentum forward.