July 19, 2016 / 12:11 PM / 2 years ago

CommonBond announces new funding, led by Neuberger Berman unit

(Reuters) - Online student loan company CommonBond said on Tuesday that it had raised $30 million in new funding, including from the private equity arm of investment manager Neuberger Berman.

Neuberger led the equity investment in the company and joined existing investors August Capital, Tribeca Venture Partners, Social Capital, Nyca Partners and Victory Park Capital. CommonBond will use the funding to hire employees and build out its technology.

CommonBond’s latest investment comes during a challenging year for online lenders to raise money. The industry has been grappling with job cuts, plummeting share prices and the resignation of LendingClub Corp (LC.N) Chief Executive Officer Renauld Laplanche after an internal investigation.

CommonBond CEO David Klein said the latest investment valued the company higher than its last raise in September but would not give more details.

CommonBond, which funds and refinances student loans at lower interest rates, also announced $300 million in loan purchases from a large asset management firm that it declined to name.

With the new funding, CommonBond has raised more than $1 billion in financing across equity and debt.

CommonBond’s investors also include former Citigroup Inc (C.N) CEO Vikram Pandit, former Thomson Reuters Corp <TRI.TO. CEO Tom Glocer and ex-Barclays Plc (BARC.L) wealth head Tom Kalaris.

CommonBond also said it had acquired Gradable, a personal finance platform that provides advice on how to manage and repay student loans.

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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