At the start of this year, we raised a fund we call The Opportunity Fund. I blogged about it when we announced it in early January. The idea behind The Opportunity Fund is twofold; to allow us to invest in our existing portfolio companies after they've moved beyond the early stage where we are focused, and to allow us to invest in a few companies that we have been following closely over the years but were unable to invest in at the early stage.
One such company in the latter category is Lending Club. We've been interested in peer to peer lending marketplaces for about five years now. We've studied the category closely but have never found the right entry point. We have watched Lending Club innovate by delivering better risk assesment and mitigation which has led to better returns for lenders and in turn has made Lending Club the leader in this important emerging market.
Last week we closed on an investment in Lending Club which was reported today in the Wall Street Journal. Our partner John Buttrick wrote a short blog post outlining why we made this investment today on the USV blog.
We love marketplaces at USV. They are a special category of large networks of engaged users that monetize extremely well and take advantage of the web natively and powerfully. We are thrilled to be invested in the peer to peer lending marketplace and we are particularly excited to be able to do that through Lending Club.