Comparing MyC4 to Prosper

Researching the MyC4 concept (see previous post) there are some usability features that call for a comparision to

  1. Auction: The model of Prosper seems much more straightforward to me then the auction model of MyC4. The possibility of bidding above the maximum interest rate as long as the weighted average interest is below it, gives it a major twist. Every lender on a loan ends up with a different interest rate while borrower nominal interest rate is the weighted average (mind-boggling, isn't it?). And the full transparency of all bids during bidding process is interesting.
  2. Usability, communication and transparency: The interface is designed for much interaction. Everywhere the user can post comments (to profiles, to blogs, to loans, to listings). And with a user added avatar on every comment, it is very personal. No anonymity since real names are used (not screen names). Anybody can view the loans other lenders are invested in. Users can add icons to their profile to show which motivation led them to MyC4 (be it profit, education, social lending, …) 
  3. Defaults. So far none, but naturally it is much to early to judge. Hopefully MyC4 will have defaults as low as Kiva and prove that third world borrowers are more reliable.

There will be continued coverage about my experiences at MyC4.


MyC4 – Microlending for profit to African entrepreneurs

myc4 betaDanish startup C4 World on it's platform MyC4 allows lenders to finance micro loans to African entrepreneurs (Afripreneurs). P2P briefly featured the MyC4 plans earlier. The goal is to "eradict poverty through business". The service is currently in beta, but signing up and lending at MyC4 is already possible.

MyC4 differs in its approach from Kiva: At MyC4 lenders do earn interest on the loans. Currently interest rates of 20-24% are typical with loan terms of 6 or 12 month.

myc4 joined the Beta as a MyC4 Builder. The gathered experiences are published in an exclusive review of MyC4: (0,4 MB, 3 pages)

Borrowers – tight-lipped or talking one’s head off?

When analysing data it is possible to find out all kind of things. E.g if there are regional differences to how talkative Prosper borrowers are when writing listings.

Prosper's most talkative borrowers live in:


as compared to:

Now, while that was fun, it is not really useful in any way or is it?

When looking at the length of funded listings, that became loans, by credit grade it gets more interesting.

Apparently the lower the credit grade the more detailed the description has to be to convince the lenders to bid to fund the loan.

Looking at the development of the description length of funded Prosper listings on the time scale  this chart is the result:

There are several possible causes that contribute to listings getting lenghtier:

  • Borrowers take other listings as example and add on top of this
  • Group leaders (or others) provide templates
  • Competition for lender attention is getting tougher
  • Borrowers detected that longer descriptions will increase chances (see HRs in table above) – unlikely


Lendingclub receives 10 million VC funding

Lendingclub has received a 10.26 million US$ venture capital investment from Norwest Venture Partners and Canaan Partners. The CEO Renaud Laplanche announced that the money will be used to expand Lendingclub beyond the Facebook platform.

In an interview, Daniel Ciporin of Canaan Partners says:

P2P services and functionality in general has been at the heart of web market disruption, from Ebay to MySpace to Facebook, using only a few of the most prominent examples. I think the opportunity is ripe now to apply P2P functionality in the consumer lending space, especially with the particular focus on pre-existing affiliations that Lending Club has.

Average lending club interest rate 11%

Lendingclub's loan volume has surpassed 750000 US$. So far the average interest rate is 11.10%. As you can see in the table the majority of loans went to borrowers with good credit grades.

Lendingclub states that the top states where Florida, New York and Massachusetts. This differs from the state distribution of the Prosper loans, where California, Texas and Georgia are the states with most loans.
A possible cause is that is only open to Facebook users and might therefore target different user demographics then (Source)

Regulator forces Dutch p2p lending site boober to stop lending

Dutch p2p lending site is in big trouble. A court in Rotterdam ruled that Boober needs a license, with the judge supporting the position of the regulating authority AFM. After Boober published its interpretation what this ruling means, the AFM clarified its position in a press release.

Under pressure Boober finally posted a statement on its homepage saying that while the site remains open and existing loans will continue to be serviced, Boober stops any lender bidding. Statement:

Beste Boober Gebruiker

In tegenstelling tot wat dinsdag en woensdag is gecommuniceerd heeft Boober gisteravond na overleg met de Autoriteit Financiële Markten besloten om de krediet-bemiddelingsactiviteiten voorlopig te staken. Dit wordt geëffectueerd door uitleners voorlopig niet de mogelijkheid te geven op leningen te bieden . De site blijft gewoon beschikbaar en het besluit heeft geen enkele consequentie voor lopende leningen.

Boober betreurt de ongelukkige wijze waarop zij met de markt heeft gecommuniceerd en verwacht begin volgende week meer duidelijkheid te kunnen verschaffen.

Boober's service was controversial in the Netherlands from the start. It was even subject of discussion of the Dutch national parliament.

An update on what will happen next is expected early next week.

Richard van den Toorn, publisher of the great site has supplied with this chronology of events: Continue reading