|Residence||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Known for||MatchPoint, Lending Club|
Early life and education
Renaud Laplanche was born in 1970, he grew up in France. He was interested in sailing and raced competitively on the national level, winning the French sailing championships on Lasers, 13.5 ft, one-sail, one-man sailboats, in 1988 and 1990.
Laplanche studied business and law. He received a post-graduate DESS-DJCE (J.D.) degree in Tax and Corporate Law from Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France and an MBA degree from HEC Business School in Paris, France and London Business School.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
From 1995 to 1999, Laplanche worked as a securities lawyer and senior associate at the law offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, first in Paris and later in New York. The cases he worked on included mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and investment transactions involving technology companies.
In New York, Laplanche soon left the law offices and in 1999, jointly with Franck Nazikian, started his own company, a software company called TripleHop Technologies. The company had an office in the North Tower of the New York World Trade Center that was destroyed in the September 11 attacks and TripleHop suffered major losses, including its computers and recently developed software code.
In 2003, TripleHop launched its MatchPoint crawler and search engine for enterprise content. The engine provided a single search point for structured and unstructured data (databases, e-mail, file and document systems, the internet), used Support Vector Machine algorithms for indexing and concept-based retrieval, and collaborative filtering for correlating related topics, created a user profile for each user on the basis of user's search history to tailor query results to particular users, and permitted context-sensitive search where queries were expanded by synonyms from domain-specific thesaurus-type taxonomies.
MatchPoint was adopted by many U.S. media companies (CNN, Turner Broadcasting, AOL, USA Today, ABC news, Dow Jones, New York Times and others) as their preferred search engine and attracted the attention of major software vendors. In June 2005, TripleHop Technologies was acquired by Oracle Corporation and MatchPoint was integrated with Oracle's other products. Laplanche reportedly earned 10 million USD from the acquisition. He moved to California and from June 2005 to October 2006 worked at Oracle as the Head of Product Management, Search Technologies, managing integration and overseeing sales of search engine products.
In 2006, Laplanche left Oracle and co-founded Lending Club with Soulaiman Htite. Laplanche had gotten the idea for the new company at the time when he started TripleHop and found that his credit card carried an 18% interest rate, while he was only earning 1.5% from the bank on high yield certificates of deposit. He thought that by connecting investors directly with borrowers, he could cut the banks out of the equation and deliver lower rates for borrowers and higher returns for investors. Lending Club first launched on Facebook to leverage existing connections among users for testing users' trust and willingness to help one another financially, and to gather user feedback about the new service. At that time, Lending Club was one of Facebook's first applications.
After receiving $12 million in funding from venture capital investors, including Canaan Partners, and Norwest Venture Partners, Laplanche developed Lending Club into a full-scale person-to-person lending company. Lending Club revenue for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2012 was $15.8 million. In August 2011, Lending Club raised an additional 25 million USD in venture capital from Union Square Ventures and Thomsvest, owned by the Thomson family of Thomson-Reuters. In 2012, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers became the newest investor in Lending Club, bringing the total amount of venture capital raised by the company to $100 million.
Lending Club is headquartered in San Francisco. As of March 31, 2012 the company had 81 full time employees, with Laplanche continuing as the company CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors. As of March 15, 2013, Lending Club has facilitated 100,000 loans for a total of $1.5 billion. The company is preparing to be IPO-ready in 2014.
Laplanche was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2012 BFM Awards. He is the winner of HEC Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2002 and is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization. He has been called, "arguably one of the most influential people in financial services today."
Renaud Laplanche lives in San Francisco with his family.
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