|Headquarters||New York, New York|
CommonBond is a marketplace lender that refinances graduate and undergraduate student loans for university graduates. CommonBond also provides in-school loans to MBA students at 20 programs in the United States. The company launched nationally in September 2013.
CommonBond was founded in November 2012 by David Klein, Michael Taormina, and Jessup Shean, who met at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School MBA program. The impetus was the founders' frustration with the lack of affordable loan options to fund their own graduate school education. For their business proposal, the trio was accepted to the Wharton Venture Initiation Program, which serves as a start-up incubator. After deciding to pilot their model at Wharton, the group focused on fundraising during 2012. By the company's launch in November 2012, $2.5 million had been invested by Wharton alumni and $1 million of seed funding was provided by a Wharton alumnus in return for a stake in the company. CommonBond's first fund lent to 40 MBA students and recent graduates at Wharton.
CommonBond expanded to 20 MBA programs across the United States in September 2013, after announcing it had raised over $100 million in equity and debt financing. In March 2014, CommonBond expanded its student loan refinancing and consolidation programs to graduates of law, medical, and engineering programs across the US.
In February 2015, CommonBond expanded its student loan refinancing program to 14 graduate degree programs. At that time, the company also announced a financing partnership with Nelnet (NYSE: NNI). Nelnet committed $150 million to fund CommonBond loan volume and made an equity investment in the company.
In September 2015, CommonBond raised $35 million in Series B funding from August Capital, Nyca Partners, and Victory Park Capital, in a round led by August Capital. Shortly thereafter, the company announced the expansion of its student loan refinancing program to graduates of over 2,000 universities, as well as the introduction of its Parent PLUS Loan refinancing program.
Products and services
In September 2015, CommonBond introduced a new Parent PLUS loan refinancing program, whereby parents who borrowed federal Parent PLUS loans to finance their children’s undergraduate education can refinance those loans through CommonBond.
CommonBond announced a partnership with Prodigy Finance, an international post-graduate student lender, in July 2015. The partnership allows international post-graduate students to secure funding for their business school education in the US through Prodigy Finance, which determines the terms and conditions of the student loans.
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- "Lending Start-Up CommonBond Raises $100 Million, With Pandit as Investor". The New York Times. 4 September 2013.
- "Wharton start-up CommonBond extends loans to 20 US MBA courses". Financial Times. 4 September 2013.
- "MBA Loans Seek to Shift the Culture of Borrowing". Bloomberg Television. 9 September 2013.
- "With Over $100M Raised, P2P Lending Platform CommonBond Expands To 100 Programs To Help Grad Students Reduce Debt". TechCrunch. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "CommonBond extends MBA loan scheme". Financial Times. 19 March 2014.
- "CommonBond Refinancing FAQs". commonbond.co. CommonBond. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- Saitto, Serena (5 February 2015). "CommonBond Obtains $150 Million in Boom for Online Lenders". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
- Henry, Zoe (8 September 2015). "CommonBond Gets $35 Million Funding, Wants to Cut Woes Behind Student Loan Refinancing". Inc Magazine. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
- Bhattacharyya, Rica (2015-07-09). "CommonBond, Prodigy Finance ink pact to expand MBA loan options for foreign students in US". Economic Times. Retrieved 2015-09-23.