Houston firm purchases equity stake in Looking Glass Investments

Coins stacked

A Houston company has purchased an equity stake in Milwaukee-based Looking Glass Investments.Coins stacked

Looking Glass focuses on alternative investments for fixed incomes. It was founded in 2006 to research marketplace lending, and has been investing since 2012, with an aim to drive regular returns with little volatility.

The firm has taken advantage of the fact that banks’ unsecured lending products have essentially dried up since the Great Recession, and peer-to-peer lending has filled some of that void. Looking Glass analyzes online lending platform data and invests in the most promising peer-to-peer loans through websites such as Lending Club, Prosper, Funding Circle and Peerform, using a proprietary analytical system.

Main Street Capital Corp., which also invested directly in some of Looking Glass’ private investments, provides capital solutions for lower and middle market companies that are seeking growth or transitioning ownership. It invested a total of $501,000 in Looking Glass, according to an SEC filing.

“By any measure, Main Street is a top-tier business development company and their investment represents an important recognition of what we have accomplished,” said Matthew O’Malley, president and chief operating officer. “Main Street’s investment capital will be used to support the ongoing development of our underwriting technology, our data management, and our rigorous investment research process managed by our team of Ph.D. economists.”

“We are pleased to become a strategic partner with Looking Glass Investments,” said Dwayne Hyzak, president and chief operating officer of Main Street. “Looking Glass has built superior predictive analytics models supported by efficient technology. As this asset class continues its explosive growth we believe LGI will emerge as the premiere manager in this space.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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