Zopa plans to get more personal

"Prosper on Zopa" – "but better"

That is how the new Sales & Product manager Tanya Cordrey of Zopa described the planned Zopa Listings yesterday in a Zopa Chat. Quote: "It is the ability for borrowers to post listings and it gives lenders the opportunity to lend choose individuals"
Zopa plans to get this feature live next month.

The question about the chance for a secondary market was answered by that there is not enough volume yet (maybe next year). The chat was attended by many Zopa employees including the CEO. The transcript is available.

Donate $4 to sponsor a landmine sniffing rat

No despite the sound of the title this is no joke. With at little as $4 you can help the quest to remove landmine. The herorat.org project trains rats to search landmines because this is a cheap and reliable way to locate landmines with little risk to the rats. While the site has a cartoon appearance this is NOT a game – read the Press centre for media coverage (e.g. CNN). I donated. 

Open rebellion of lenders in Prosper forums

Note: Most of the following is an observation of lenders opinions voiced in the Prosper forums (with sources given). The opinions voiced in the cited threads are the opinions of the individual lenders who posted them.

Looking into the lender section at the Prosper.com forums part of the posting lenders seem to be in open rebellion. Titles of threads from the last two days include "FLASH:Prosper bans $100.000 lender", "Prosper Mng. Living Under a Rock", "Shooting the Messenger", "What happens if Prosper goes under?", "I am done lending on Prosper", "Hello Prosper Moderator", "Lender's WHO are DONE with Prosper", "My letter to Prosper", "Open letter to John Witchel

Topics include lack of communication from prosper, failure to adress process problems, banning lenders, closing threads, … .

Posts call for "Class Action Lawsuit", informing Venture Capital firms who funded Prosper about the situation as the lenders posting see it and the call for withrawing funds.

One main cause for the unrest are the low ROIs large long term lenders are experiencing. This post says there are 203 lenders which have loans over 6 month old and more the 25K invested. For these the post says the average estimated ROI is 1.91%.

The result is that some long time lenders churn Prosper.com and stopped investing, while new lenders continue to pour in money.

As the following chart shows the count of lenders who have bid within the last 30 days stalls since April. 


A few lenders now express their very legative opinion on Prosper prominently in their signature in every post they make in the Prosper forums. Example

As lenders have started to make fun of Prosper employees or using avatars to create the appearance of beeing a prosper moderator without any apparent reaction of Prosper in their own forums, users start to speculate if Prosper will be forced to close the forums to avoid the negative publicity.

Zopa criticism

Browsing the Zopa forums today, I noticed that negative posts by lenders are on the rise. This is quite different from the mostly positive feedback in earlier months.

Lenders are:

While the staff in many cases does not immeadiately solve the voiced problems, at least they are much more responsive in the forum compared to the Prosper staff in the Prosper forum.

Some of the complaints may turn out to be misunderstandings. Bear in mind, that only a tiny minority of the Zopa lenders are active posters in the Zopa forum, therefore it is quite possible that a fast majority of Zopa's lenders is still very satisfied with the service.

Users suspect problems may have risen, because Zopa stuff could be tied up with issues concerning US launch.