Matt Harris at Bain worries about the longevity of 2.0 originators, which tend to be only slightly differentiated fast followers of platforms like Lending Club and OnDeck. He is however quite bullish on Lending 3.0 made up of earlier stage originators "who have gotten the memo about appropriate valuations and capital efficiency".
I’m quite excited about Alt Lending 3.0, made up of earlier stage originators whose strategies line up with the precepts above, and who have gotten the memo about appropriate valuations and capital efficiency. For lending high flyers, as for the rest of the “unicorns”, the notion that high growth and “disruption” justify valuations detached from estimates of future cash production has gone away. Companies seeking funding in the lending space today generally have less of the Gold Rush mentality of the Alt Lending 2.0 players, who sought to take advantage of an enthusiastic investing community; instead, they are motivated by legitimately unmet needs and the prospect of meaningful moats. For the first time in a decade, I’m feeling like it’s a great time to be starting a lending company.