CommonBond, the peer-to-peer lending company for graduate and professional school students, has moved its Downtown Brooklyn office to Manhattan. As the company expanded, the people it hired weren’t Brooklynites. That and upward price pressure in the parts of Brooklyn with quick access to Manhattan’s financial epicenter led the company to move to Manhattan on July 1, according to a post on the company’s blog written by CEO David Klein.
I also loved being in Brooklyn. It was everything from quaint yet gritty to beautiful and bustling to both the “up and coming” and the “already there.” But alas, and a little surprisingly, we were priced out of the areas of Brooklyn that would make our office accessible to a rapidly growing team commuting from Manhattan, New Jersey, Staten Island. We’d also lose our quick and easy access to New York’s financial community, which is an important variable to our business. So into Manhattan we went, where supply seemed to be more plentiful.
Many of the startups we talk to tell us they’re located in Brooklyn because that’s where most of their people are. Klein didn’t exactly say that when we interviewed him in October. What he said, instead, is that there are a lot of talented people in Brooklyn and that his company got a good price on office space in Downtown Brooklyn.
As it turns out, though, apparently the talent here was not the kind a company that’s a little more financial and a little less tech really needed.
CommonBond finances the cost of graduate school for some of the nation’s best students (the very lowest risk). It also adds value for those students by networking them with the people who invest in their loans, as well as supporting the education of children in the developing world, under a one-for-one model. We first covered the company when its founders were themselves in graduate school at UPenn.