It’s no secret that knowing how to code is like gold these days. More and more investors and incubators are requiring technical co-founders and even folks outside of the tech startup world know that having a fully functioning website is not only a good idea these days – it’s essential.
The problem is, the cost of learning how to code can also be measured in gold – by which I mean it’s stupid expensive. While some idiot savants undoubtedly have and will continue to teach themselves the latest language, most people still need teachers to guide them along the ninja path.
But here’s the problem: because they’re not traditional schools, most banks won’t provide student loans for these coding bootcamps, even though the certification their students get is way more practical than my Sociology degree will ever be. (And they sure didn’t balk to loan me those tens of thousands…)
So what’s a Future Coder of America to do?
If you have rich parents, hit them up. If you’re like the rest of us and you’re applying to Hackbright Academy, MakerSquare, Insight Data Science, or Hack Reactor? Hit up LendLayer.
LendLayer is a new peer-to-peer lending organization started by four guys – Steve McGarry, Sebastian Fung, James Lovatt, and Matt Gibb – who had all faced the “how the @$%@ do I fund this??” problem. The team told VentureBeat that they did a little need finding research in San Francisco to see how much money they would need to attend the four bootcamps listed above and came up with a staggering $14 million required for all four of them – but no way to pay.
Seeing a real need for financial aid at these extremely popular programs, the guys just closed a $400,000 round led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn and Bluefin co-founders Michael Fleischman and Deb Roy to really start establishing themselves as the go-to for coding education financing.
With that seed round under their belt, the team is ready to start raising lending capital to distribute to participants in the coding bootcamps. They’ll be focusing less on credit score and more on the future earning potential of applicants when determining whether or not to provide a loan. They’ll also determine interest rates based on which bootcamp the attendee is attending, GitHub commits, work experience as judged by LinkedIn, and “social factors like Twitter and Facebook.”
If Steve and Sebastian’s names ring a bell…
That’s because you’ve heard of them before, when I covered their company SlingBot back in February. The dynamic duo were about to head out on a cross country road trip from Boston to San Francisco and I’m simultaneously glad to hear they made it and glad to hear that they’ve embarked on another adventure – one that I’m pretty sure is going to be profitable.