Avant, an online lending platform that focuses on borrowers with marred credit, announced an agreement Wednesday to raise $325 million in equity financing from blue-chip investors.
The funding round is being led by one of the country's largest private equity firms, General Atlantic.
Also providing financing are Balyasny Asset Management and J.P. Morgan, according to the Chicago-based marketplace lender, which said that it expects the transaction to close in mid-October.
A source familiar with the matter said that the transaction values Avant at nearly $2 billion.
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The Avant deal is just the latest in a series of astonishingly large investments in the U.S. marketplace lending industry.
Also on Wednesday, Social Finance, which lends to higher-income borrowers, confirmed earlier reports that it has raised $1 billion in a financing round led by SoftBank Group, a Japanese telecommunications giant.
Avant said that it has now raised more than $650 million in equity funding, and has more than 750 employees in Chicago, Los Angeles and London. The lender, which operates in the U.S. and the U.K., has made more than $1.5 billion worth of loans since 2012.
Avant offers two- to five-year personal loans ranging from $1,000 to $35,000, and at annual percentage rates ranging from 9.95% to 36%. Many of the firm's customers would not qualify for less expensive loans from other online lenders, such as Lending Club and Prosper Marketplace.
The company said that it plans to use the new financing to expand its list of products and its geographic reach.
In an August interview, Chief Executive Al Goldstein said that Avant was planning to expand into mortgages, auto loans, revolving loans and student loans within the next three to five years. Goldstein also said that the company planned to enter two new countries before the end of 2015.
Other firms expected to participate in the equity financing round include existing investors Tiger Global Management, August Capital, RRE Ventures and DFJ Growth, according to Avant.