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Marketplace Lending Takes the Main Stage

This is an historic moment. Lending Club debuted on the New York Stock Exchange this morning, becoming the first online credit marketplace to go public. It’s a huge validation for the industry and will bring an increased level of awareness and education about the space. We want to congratulate them on a successful IPO.

When Prosper pioneered the market more than eight years ago, the scenario was quite different. The idea that people had an alternative to borrowing from banks was novel, and even scary for some. Today, more than 250,000 have borrowed over $2 billion from individual and institutional lenders through the Prosper marketplace. We’re one of the fastest growing credit marketplaces, with loan originations on the platform up 420 percent over the last year (Q3 2014 vs. Q3 2013). It took us eight years to cross the first $1 billion in loans on the Prosper platform (announced in April 2014), and just six months later, in October, we announced the $2 billion milestone. Clearly, marketplace lending is moving into the mainstream as people see it as an easier, more cost-effective alternative to traditional bank lending. This week’s activities only confirm this.

The market is only getting bigger. We may have started out helping cash strapped consumers to consolidate their credit card debt, but today, people are turning to us when they need money for special occasions, home improvements, a second auto, and many other everyday and lifetime events. Online marketplaces have transformed numerous industries — retail, lodging and travel, to name a few. Prosper saw a need for similar innovation in the financial services and lending industry — where borrowers are subject to high interest rates and fees and layers of paperwork, and diversity and yields are limited for investors. By opening up the market and connecting investors and borrowers directly, we smooth out and bring transparency to a seemingly arbitrary process. Competition in the lending market means more options for everyone. And for consumers, more choice means better rates, lower payments, improved customer service and increased ease of use.

We’re excited about 2015. We have more than 200 employees and we’re hiring many more, including recent top executives recruits who bring a wealth of experience and diversity. We raised $70 million this year (nearly $200 million total) to help us target a market that is expected to top $9 billion in loans this year. And we plan to roll out new features and functionality, further supporting mobile and expanding partnerships. We’re laser focused on offering consumers the simplest and most efficient customer experience on a platform they can trust.

As always, thank you to the Prosper community for getting us to where we are today. We are inspired by your stories and look forward to hearing many more in 2015.

Aaron Vermut


12/11/2014 by in Borrowers, Featured, Lenders, Personal Finance Education

Laying the Foundation for Accelerated Growth

The growth trajectory continues in June with over $27.5 million in loans originating through the platform, setting yet another platform record and bringing the platform total to almost $550 million loan originations since inception. We also broke last month’s record for the number of loans to originate through the platform, setting a new record of 2,694 loans originated in June. This represents over 100% growth from this time last year. 

In June, loan originations split equally between the two pools. In the standard loan pool, we have lowered the maximum bid amount any one lender can invest in a given loan from 75% to 50%. This enables more lenders access to a larger inventory in that pool. As we have highlighted in previous blog posts, our focus this summer is to lay the foundation for accelerated growth in the latter part of 2013. The success of both the whole loan and standard loan pools thus far lines up with this plan. 

As a function of this foundation for the future we have highlighted customer service as a key pillar of our business. In previous months we extended customer service hours and in June we significantly ramped up staff to provide additional support for both borrowers and lenders. We will continue to monitor our customer service levels very closely and provide updates in future posts.

In June, we were thrilled to participate and attend the inaugural peer-to-peer lending conference in New York City, LendIt 2013. LendAcademy’s Peter Renton and his team pulled together a fantastic agenda spurring great dialogue on the massive opportunity in front of us all in this industry. To top it off, Ron Suber, Prosper Marketplace Head of Global Institutional Sales, provided the closing keynote address. Watch Ron’s address here.

We’re not the only ones excited about peer-to-peer lending. Media coverage on peer-to-peer lending is picking up dramatically. We’ve decided to include a news roundup in these monthly updates. Below are some articles that you may find interesting. 

We continue to improve our collection programs on behalf of our lenders. We are very encouraged by the early results and plan on providing a blog post specifically around the topic of collections in the coming weeks when we have more data.

We would like to thank everyone for their involvement on our platform – the amazing growth we have seen the last three months is not possible without you. Please keep the feedback coming, and check back for more good news in the near future.

Aaron Vermut
President, Prosper Funding LLC

07/08/2013 by in Featured, Lenders, Prosper News

RESOLVED: Prosper Third Party Vendor Experiencing Technical Issues, Slowing Pace on June Originations

These issues have been resolved. Please refer to our follow up post here.

**Original update**

We have seen record volume here at Prosper over the past few months and are excited to continue that growth. This week, we are experiencing a limitation with our customer relationship management system. Over the weekend a technical issue developed which is affecting the mechanics of our verification process. We are working closely with our vendor to get this issue resolved as soon as possible. The loans are still coming onto the platform at the expected growth volume for June; however, our verification team’s production has slowed slightly while the issue is addressed. As a result, the pace of June’s origination numbers has also slowed. We want to assure our members that we are on top of the problem and are focused on the quality of originations as well as the volume. We expect originations to return to normal processing when the technical issues are resolved. 

We recognize the inconvenience this causes both borrowers and lenders and will keep Prosper members updated here as progress is made. Please check back for more information.

06/13/2013 by in Borrowers, Featured, Lenders, Prosper News

Prosper Kicks off Summer with New Records, New Office Space and More

The momentum continues at Prosper with our second consecutive record-setting month. With over $25M in loans, May sets a new record for the best month ever in loan originations, bringing the total to more than $525M to cross the platform since inception. 2,436 loans were originated through prosper (the largest loan volume in the platform’s history), averaging $10,278 per loan. This is 23.7% growth over April, 2013 and 95.4% growth year over year from May, 2012 in total dollars loaned. We’ve also more than doubled the platform’s origination total of 6 months ago, achieving an average monthly growth of over 40% over the last 3 months.

During the month of May, Prosper Marketplace, Inc. (“PMI”) welcomed a new member to its executive team. Ken Niewald joins PMI as the incoming Chief Financial Officer. Ken has also been named our Treasurer. Ken brings over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry including his time as partner at Marquis Advisory and Tatum as well as CFO for Wells Fargo Funds Management. Ken joined just as the headquarters moved to a new location in downtown San Francisco. The new headquarters offer some much needed space for PMI’s growing team at a cost savings.

Over the past couple months we have begun reconciling customer data regularly throughout the month rather than at the month end. This has permitted us to move lender statement distribution up from the 11th to the 2nd business day of the following month. We have accomplished this in both April and May, and intend to continue with this new process moving forward.

The month of May also marks our second month of the Whole Loans program. We understand that this program has generated a lot of discussion and comments from our retail lenders. I want to reassure this group that we are committed to creating a place on our platform for both institutional and retail lenders. In May, 54.2% of loan originations came from the standard loan pool while 45.8% came from the whole loan pool. The 54.2% that originated through the standard pool represents more than $13.5M in loans. This number nearly doubles what was originated in loans across the entire platform in January or February of this year, before the introduction of the whole loans program. We are happy with the performance of the Whole Loans program and the capability it provides in enabling a balance between institutional and retail lenders.

With the increased demand from our lender base in May, we recently launched the largest marketing campaign in the platform’s history. Our goal over the summer is to meet new lender demand by maintaining the consistent growth reported in March, April and May of this year. We have mentioned before that we’re looking closely at the borrower experience during onboarding. This is moving along nicely and we should have more progress to report soon.

For those of you following the improvements made to our collections services, we have made some great progress, and will provide a more comprehensive update in the middle of June.

I would like to thank you all again for your ongoing participation in these posts. Please keep the feedback coming!

Aaron Vermut
President, Prosper Funding LLC

06/03/2013 by in Borrowers, Featured, Lenders, Prosper News

Prosper Reports Record Month in April

Prosper has just finished its best month ever for loan originations – we have reached $20.2M in loans for April, and $500M since inception. April’s performance was achieved with the largest volume and the highest average loan amount in history with 1,969 loans and $10,277 respectively. This amount is a 34% growth over March, 2013 and 74% year over year from April, 2012.

Over the past week, many of you have asked about the changes in loan volume. We have seen two trends; first, there have been fewer B through HR rated loans available. Second, loan origination volume through Prosper’s platform has actually gone up, as you can see above. To explain these seemingly contradictory trends, I’d like to start by saying that I believe the industry has reached an inflection point. Peer-to-peer lending is increasingly accepted as a viable investment class. Both retail and institutional lenders are realizing that peer-to-peer loans represent a very interesting and potentially profitable way to obtain unprecedented access to investing in consumer loans. As a result, the industry (not just Prosper) is experiencing a spike in demand. We are aggressively ramping borrower marketing campaigns to generate more loan inventory to meet that lender demand. We are also looking closely at the borrower user experience and application process over the coming months.

All in all, these short term challenges are a positive development for the industry. As we grow, we will help more consumers get their loans funded and therefore offer our lenders more opportunities to expand their investments in consumer loans.

As I mentioned in my April update, we introduced a whole loans program in a beta period for our institutional investors. This has been going well – over $5.8M in loans originated through the whole loan pool in April. This makes up about 28% of loans originated through the platform in April and the remaining 72% originated through the fractional loan pool. On May 3rd we will officially add the whole loans pool as a permanent part of our service.

Here are some details on how it will work:

Prior to posting times, Monday thru Friday only, a subset of randomly selected loans will funnel into a whole loan pool, while all others will post normally into the standard, fractional loan pool. Those loans in the whole loan pool will remain there exclusively for a brief 45 minute period of time. If the loans are not purchased from the whole loan pool within 45 minutes, they will funnel into the fractional loan pool at regularly scheduled posting times, becoming available for funding on the standard Prosper platform. On Saturdays and Sundays all loans will funnel into the standard loan pool, giving our retail lenders the opportunity to bid on all loans available during that period.

This new process is in line with market conditions and enables us to offer whole loan buyers a solution to meeting their mandate and specifications without disrupting the retail lender experience. Additionally, for loans in the fractional loan pool, lenders will now be limited to 75% funding, ensuring that all retail lenders continue to have equal access to a large number of loan options.

Now back to April. In addition to a record month in terms of loan originations, we also made some great progress. We launched a new logo and identity. We would love to hear what you think. As promised, we increased the loan cap from $25,000 to $35,000. Many of you have noticed that this change also included removing our one year loan option. The reason for removing this is simple; one year loans are not in high demand by our borrowers. We will continue to make changes and enhancements like these to balance the needs of both lenders and borrowers.

We also welcomed back our Washington lenders. We appreciate your patience while we worked with the Securities Division of Washington’s Department of Finance to obtain approval and reopen peer-to-peer lending in Washington.

Finally, we are approaching the deadline to transfer to the new enhanced API service we introduced to our lenders back in March. The feedback on this has been tremendous and we are transitioning everyone over. The last day to transition to our new API for lenders is May 1st. If you’re interested in this, please email us at investorservices@prosper.com. If you’re already using it, great! A new password functionality in the settings section will be available in May. Stay tuned.

More exciting things are still to come over the next couple months.

  • Improved collections: We are still very focused on increasing the success of our collections. We have made several changes over the past couple months to increase call intensity and work closely with delinquent borrowers. We continue to enhance this service and will keep you updated here as changes are made.
  • Document Update Functionality: We have begun development on a tool that will allow our borrowers to upload documents directly to our site. This will help to streamline the borrower experience and allow our verification team to move more quickly on verification initiatives.
  • Ramping Borrower Inventory: Over March and April we focused a lot of resources and attention on the lender side of our platform. This has allowed us to onboard a lot of eager lenders. As stated above, in May, we are ramping up our borrower marketing initiatives to meet these new lender needs and will be funneling more and more loans onto the platform.

We are really proud of the progress we’ve made so far, and have many more exciting updates to come as we work to make Prosper the best peer-to-peer lending platform. I’d like to thank everyone who commented on my March post for their thoughtful questions and considerate debate. I’ll be reading and responding so feel free to ask questions or add comments below.

Thank you,

Aaron Vermut

04/30/2013 by in Borrowers, Featured, Lenders, Prosper News


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Notice: Blogs and other materials posted on or linked from this page that use the name "Prosper" generally use that name to refer to Prosper Marketplace, Inc. if published before January 31, 2013 and to refer to Prosper Funding LLC if published on or after February 1, 2013.