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Friday Fundings: Loanpal, Fast, and Clubhouse

Loanpal Secures $800 Million for Renewable Energy Loans

A collection of investors have announced a $800 million investment in Loanpal, a renewable energy and home improvement lender. Loanpal has facilitated $5.9 billion in consumer finance loans since its 2018 launch.

According to Hayes Barnard, Loanpal’s founder, chairman, and chief executive, the sustainable home solutions market is worth $100 billion. That market is part of the larger push to decarbonize the global economy—an effort the World Economic Forum says is worth $10 trillion. Loanpal is structured around the idea that individual consumers are part of this movement. As more people become conscious of the need to protect the environment, Loanpal expects the adoption of technology like battery storage, smart thermostats, and solar panels will pick up steam.

Fast Raises $102 Million for Online Checkout Solutions

Fast, an online checkout startup, raised $102 million in a Series B round led by Stripe, another online payment giant. This latest round brings Fast’s total funding to $124 million.

Other companies in online checkout have also recently raised large amounts of cash. Bolt raised a $75 million Series C extension in December, and raised $450 million and secured a $15 billion valuation in mid-January. Yet another fintech transaction company, Rapyd, raised $300 million at a $2.5 billion valuation earlier this month. The flood of money is a sign that the growth of e-commerce is only accelerating, and the selling and buying experience has room for improvement.

Chatroom Platform Clubhouse Raises $100 Million

Clubhouse, the invite-only audio-only chat room platform, raised $100 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, an existing investor. Last week Clubhouse said it had two million users. The app has grown quickly since it launched in 2020, despite still being invite-only. The platform may soon launch a monetization program to create a new revenue stream.

Critical analysts fear that Clubhouse’s popularity has been overstated by the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders that have encouraged users to flock to the platform. If true, Clubhouse may lose steam when the pandemic subsides. But enthusiasts suspect that Andreessen Horowitz could be on the leading edge of the next big thing in social networking.

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