Attitudes towards traditional banking have changed dramatically over the past decade. Facing low interest rates and volatile stock markets, many investors are hungry for new and better ways to secure strong returns. Meanwhile, borrowers need fast, hassle-free access to personal or business loans at reasonable rates. Surely there must be a better way to bring these two groups together?

lending club logoEstablished in San Francisco in 2007, Lending Club was founded to do just that. This online credit marketplace—the world’s largest, with nearly 1,000 employees and more than $11 billion in loans funded—is harnessing the power of technology to make banking more efficient, transparent, and customer-friendly. Through a simple online or mobile interface, borrowers apply for loans derived from capital put up by investors using the same system. While investors get solid returns, borrowers enjoy lower than market-average interest rates.

Handling the spikes

john macilwaine

John MacIlwaine, CTO, Lending Club

Maintaining an excellent customer experience while handling huge traffic volume across 600 servers and 50 hosts—this is Lending Club’s top priority as well as its biggest challenge. To make matters more complicated, the company’s website updates investment opportunities four times daily, resulting in four significant usage spikes that demand close monitoring and rapid troubleshooting.

“We have a very unique environment,” says John MacIlwaine, Lending Club’s chief technology officer. “Our different usage patterns require really in-depth analysis across the frontend, the browser, the database, and the application server.”

To continue growing and improving its services while managing those spikes, the company needed a centralized data platform for its development, operations, architecture, and quality assurance staff. That platform would ideally facilitate agile development and improve accountability across all teams. Most important, it would help keep Lending Club’s customers happy.

Seeing the connections

Rob Schoening, a DevOps engineer at the company, had worked with New Relic in a previous role and believed it would be perfect for Lending Club. When he and his colleagues deployed New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, and New Relic Servers, he was quickly proved right.

“Within an hour of using New Relic in QA we decided to move it to production,” says Rob. “Within 15 minutes we had identified a problem that we’d been struggling with for months.”

CTO John MacIlwaine immediately appreciated the benefits. “The first of many ah-ha! moments came when we turned on New Relic and saw just how interconnected all of the components of our technology are.”

Investing in the future

Thanks to the real-time visibility into application performance provided by New Relic, Lending Club can troubleshoot proactively—not just reactively. Now, any bottlenecks or slowdowns that result from those four daily traffic spikes can be quickly identified and addressed.

Even better, the New Relic Software Analytics Platform has become the single pane of glass through which Lending Club can monitor and maintain the company’s operating environment. The holistic picture it provides has inspired new focus and innovation, driving the business forward.

“I use New Relic every single day,” says John. “It’s the first application that I open up.”


Watch the Lending Club customer video:


Money image courtesy of

B.J. Hinshaw is a freelance writer based in Northern California. View posts by .

Interested in writing for New Relic Blog? Send us a pitch!