California-based financial technology company Loanpal, a renewable energy and home improvement lender, plans to open a new operating center in Bentonville and create more than 100 jobs.
The company has signed a multi-year lease to occupy the former space of The Holler at 8th Street Market. According to a news release, that office will be temporary while Loanpal develops plans to establish a dedicated space in the region.
Loanpal’s Bentonville office should open in early March, according to the release.
“I am inspired to accelerate the growth of our company in Arkansas and look forward to making meaningful contributions in the Heartland,” Loanpal co-founder, chairman and CEO Hayes Barnard said in a statement. “At the heart of our business is a drive to create more mission-driven American jobs that people are proud of while building technology to connect a world in which we all live more sustainably.”
Barnard co-founded Loanpal in 2003. To date, the company has loaned more than $28 billion to more than 175,000 customers and is the No. 1 solar lender in the U.S.
“One of my first priorities when I came into office as governor was to strengthen our state’s workforce in technology and computer science,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Today, I am proud of the progress that we have made. Loanpal is a remarkable company, and their decision to locate a facility here in Arkansas is another example of the growth our state continues to see in the fintech industry.”
Loanpal plans to hire local positions in customer operations, partner management, software engineering and data science. Two or three existing employees will relocate to Bentonville to help build its presence in the region.
“We love to see tech jobs coming to Arkansas, and Loanpal’s decision to locate in Northwest Arkansas speaks volumes about the faith they have in our workforce,” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said. “These jobs will go a long way in improving economic conditions and quality of life for the region.”
Loanpal leverages its technology, data, and lending expertise to make sustainable home improvement products more accessible for homeowners.
Since 2018, loans generated on Loanpal’s proprietary technology platform have helped more than 175,000 families upgrade their homes sustainably with a ‘buy now, pay later’ solution. Loanpal’s platform is accessed by more than 12,000 sales professionals at the point of sale, supporting more than 20,000 jobs at partnering home improvement businesses across the U.S.
Loanpal has transacted more than $5 billion on its payment platform since its launch in 2018.
“The positioning of this new location in the heart of Bentonville strengthens our economy by attracting tech talent, and it also increases opportunity for local small businesses,” said Graham Cobb, president and CEO of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re proud to encourage and support moves like this, which demonstrate that efforts to showcase this 21st Century Community through events like the NWA Technology Summit are paying dividends.”
The Holler, a “local hangout” concept operated by the Walton-backed firm Ropeswing Hospitality Group, closed on Dec. 31. Blue Crane, the property management company that oversees 8th Street Market, is preserving the space’s original integrity by keeping some of the unique features in place. According to the release, the hope is that The Holler will re-open later.
Blue Crane is the real estate acquisition and development arm of Runway Group, a private but growing business team based in Bentonville led by Steuart Walton and his younger brother, Tom Walton.
“Our community is constantly growing, and the recruitment of companies, like Loanpal, to our city is a big factor in Bentonville’s growth,” Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman said. “Our city is a wonderful place to live, work and play, and the companies that join us here help to improve that quality of life in our area.”