Maybe what Lending Club ($LC) needs to do, is borrow some better-looking data. 

Many data points are headed - simply put - in the wrong direction for Lending Club. 

We'll start off with social media data - which reflects a slump in terms of Lending Club's Facebook ($FB) Talking About Count, or, how often people are talking up a brand on the social network.

Shares are down 26% over the last 12 months too. When Lending Club reveals earnings after the market closes on Tuesday, February 18, analysts are looking for EPS of $0.05. 

Perhaps worse, Lending Club's Reviews by Vendor count is growing much slower over the last six-plus months, compared to the prior year. Thinknum Alternative Data's measurement of how reviews submitted by users shows that, from July 7, 2018, to July 7, 2019, Lending Club reviews rose at a pace of about 37%, signifying fairly robust activity and engagement.

In the time since, that pace of growth has slowed to a crawl, of less than 6%, which may leave investors worried that Goldman Sachs - or any of a slew of American banks out to bolster their digital presence - has been chipping into Lending Club's line of business with their very similar lending products.

It's not necessarily a sign that Lending Club's users are abandoning the platform for other options - but a drop-off in review count growth so substantial may be a signal of a chill hitting the lending market more broadly, also.

Our Lending Club data is broken down into two segments (we're missing a bit of data, in terms of their job postings) - but looking at the purple and red lines in our chart above, we can tell that Lending Club job postings today are down 58% from their recorded peak in 2017. 

It's not uncommon - for most of the major online lenders we track, there has been a substantial pull-back from companies' job posting peak. Part of the difficulty many online lenders face may stem from a proliferation of competition, from traditional banks to startups like Stripe and Square. 

  • Lending Club - 58% reduction from peak job postings
  • Avant - 57% reduction from peak job postings
  • On Deck - 46% reduction from peak job postings
  • SoFi - 35% reduction from peak job postings

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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