Kristin Slink and Derek Barclay, founders of LoanHero, pose for a photo in their office in downtown San Diego in 2016. The company recently announced it has been acquired by a lending company in Georgia.

Kristin Slink and Derek Barclay, founders of LoanHero, pose for a photo in their office in downtown San Diego in 2016. The company recently announced it has been acquired by a lending company in Georgia. Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle.

— The LoanHero platform offers merchants a way to provide customers looking to make a big purchase, from medical procedures to car repairs, an array of loan options.

Atlanta-based LendingPoint uses proprietary technology to create financial portraits of prospective borrowers and use that data to offer online loans to some customers whose credit scores may deter other lenders.

The two emerging companies — both launched in 2014 — have joined forces in a move that expands LendingPoint’s origination channels and customer base and the range of customers to which the LoanHero platform will provide loan options.

LendingPoint on Jan. 11 announced it had acquired LoanHero. Terms were not disclosed.

LoanHero, founded by Derek Barclay and Kristin Slink and headed by CEO Zalman Vitenson, spent its initial years in incubation at EvoNexus.

Rory Moore, the incubator’s CEO, said LoanHero was the first fintech to be accepted into the Irvine Co.-backed organization, which has offices in San Diego and in Irvine.

“What we were struck by was the depth of knowledge of not only the software, but of the finance industry, that the founding team had,” he said.

After about two years at EvoNexus, LoanHero relocated in 2016 to an office in Symphony Towers downtown.

Its connection with LendingPoint dates back to nearly its founding. But while they were part of the same alternative lending universe, formally banding together wasn’t a consideration until fairly recently.

VC Backers

It was less than a year ago that LoanHero brought on board a trio of executives with significant experience in financial services to help guide the company as it grew. By then it had taken in more than $7 million in financing from venture capital firms including Alsop Louie Partners in San Francisco and Mucker Capital in Los Angeles.

In April, Vitenson became CEO, although as the company’s first angel investor and its executive chairman, he had long been intimately involved.

LoanHero also brought on Olaf Janke as chief financial officer, who in 27 years of experience had raised more than $10 billion of fixed income, $3 billion in equity, and closed merger and acquisition transactions valued at more than $3 billion, according to LoanHero.

And Mikel Sides, who was responsible for more than $65 billion in annual sales revenue in his former role as Citigroup’s vice president of client development for co-branded cards, also joined, as vice president of sales.

At the time, Barclay said he wanted to scale the company to become San Diego’s first unicorn.

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