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Mary Meeker breaks her investment fast

June 6, 2012

Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker has finally found a company that meets her standards. Just days after saying she spent the first quarter turning down overpriced investments, her fund is investing $15 million in Lending Club.

Meeker, who leads Kleiner’s $1 billion Digital Growth Fund, told the All Things D conference last week that private-market valuations were high and she and her colleagues “just were having trouble getting comfortable.”

Lending Club is a service that matches people who want personal loans with others who would like to make them. Meeker is taking a seat on its board. John Mack, chairman emeritus of Morgan Stanley, where Meeker worked as an Internet analyst before joining Kleiner in 2010, is also investing $2.5 million.

Consumer lending is hot among venture capitalists, with venture-backed companies such as Prosper filling similar niches to Lending Club. Businesses such as Wonga and ZestCash are springing up in the lower tiers.

Including the latest investment, Lending Club has raised a total of $100 million from investors including Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. It said it is adding a total of $135 million each quarter in new loans.

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