By Aaron Vermut
Today is an exciting day for our company. This morning, we announced that Prosper Marketplace will acquire BillGuard, a leading personal finance company with operations in Tel Aviv, Israel. This is a transformative acquisition for Prosper Marketplace and the industry. Until now, nobody has brought together marketplace lending and personal finance management to deliver an offering that truly empowers, protects and educates consumers. It’s also an important step in achieving our long-term vision of being a company that helps people be financially secure and successful.
BillGuard was founded in 2010 by Yaron Samid and Raphael Ouzan. The idea was born when Yaron googled an unauthorized charge on his family credit card, and saw countless others spot the same charge. That’s when he and co-founder Raphael saw the power of crowdsourcing to protect against fraud and even overspending. Since launching BillGuard, the app has amassed than 1.3 million registered users and has won almost every award in its category, including being named one of the top banking innovations of all time by Online Banking Report and a Best App of 2014 by Google.
Prosper Marketplace’s mission is to enhance financial well-being, and as we look to the future, we want to find ways beyond Prosper’s personal loan product to help people accomplish this goal. BillGuard helps us do this in a number of ways. First, it helps us create a long lasting relationship with our customers by offering them a full suite of financial tools. It also gives us the opportunity to lower our cost per acquisition, and to be in front of the customer when they are ready to make a credit decision.
In addition, we’re also welcoming an incredible group of people to the Prosper Marketplace organization. With the addition of the BillGuard team, we now have access to the impressive talent pool in Tel Aviv, a technology hub that is on par with what we have here in Silicon Valley.
The opportunity to build a team there that complements our already strong team in SF will help us further accelerate our product development.
The BillGuard acquisition follows a year of significant growth and announcements. Earlier this year, we acquired American Healthcare Lending, which has allowed to successfully extend our offering into the elective medical market, and last week, we partnered with Radius Bank to offer personal loans through the Prosper platform to the bank’s customers. The company facilitated the origination of $1.6 billion in loans through the Prosper platform in 2014 – a 350% increase from 2013 – and it expects to more than double that in 2015. To date, nearly $5 billion in loans have been transacted through the Prosper platform. In addition, Prosper Marketplace was recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2015 Inc. 500, a list of the fastest growing private companies in America and was named one of America’s “Most Promising Companies of 2015” by Forbes Magazine.
We’re excited about our shared vision with BillGuard for the future of fintech. You can read more in the press release we put out this morning.