International P2P Lending Services – Loan Volumes March 2014 – Round Figures Crossed

March brought growth for the major p2p lending services. Ratesetter managed to pass Zopa and Funding Circle in newly originated loan volume in the UK. I added one new service to the table. Note that I have switched the reporting currency to Euro as all but two services are located in Europe. Several p2p lending services reached major figures for total loan volume funded since inception:

I do monitor development of p2p lending figures for many markets. Since I already have most of the data on file I can publish statistics on the monthly loan originations for selected p2p lending services.

Table: P2P Lending Volumes in March 2014. Source: own research
Note that volumes have been converted from local currency to Euro for the sake of comparison. Some figures are estimates/approximations.

Notice to p2p lending services not listed:
If you want to be included in this chart in future, please email the following figures on the first working day of a month: total loan volume originated since inception, loan volume originated in previous month, number of loans originated in previous month, average nominal interest rate of loans originated in previous month.

Prosper Raises $25M Round Led by Sequoia Capital and Blackrock

Prosper Marketplace announced yesterday that it has raised 25 million US$ in additional funding to accelerate the company’s growth . The round, which was led by existing partner Sequoia Capital, also includes a new investment by Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, as well as a broad representation of existing investors.

Since bringing on a new management team in January 2013, the Prosper platform has achieved growth in its monthly loan originations, rising from $9 million in January to $32 million in August.

This round came pretty quick after the last 20 million US$ round in January.

Source: Prosper press release

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Prosper Settles Class Action Lawsuit – Pays 10M US$

In a Form 8-K SEC Filing of today, Prosper announced that it settled the class action lawsuit that has been going on since 2008 (see first coverage by The plaintiffs claimed that Prosper sold unregistered securities. The claimants originally filed for 47M US$. Under the settlement Prosper will pay 2 million US$ now and 8 million US$ spread out over the next 3 years.

The class members in the Lawsuit alleged that PMI offered and sold unqualified and unregistered securities in violation of the California and federal securities laws. The class members in the Lawsuit sought rescission damages against PMI and the other named defendants, as well as treble damages against PMI and the award of attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest (collectively, the “Claims”). In exchange for a full release of the Claims as to all class members against all defendants, and subject to Court approval, PMI agreed to pay settlement consideration in the total amount of $10 million according to the following schedule: (i) $2 million within 10 days of entry of an order by the Court granting preliminary approval of the settlement (“Preliminary Approval”); (ii) $2 million on the one-year anniversary of Preliminary Approval; (iii) $3 million on the two-year anniversary of Preliminary Approval; and (iv) $3 million on the three-year anniversary of Preliminary Approval.

Prosper Raises $20M from Sequoia; Appoints New CEO

Prosper has raised 20 million US$ from Sequoia Capital. Prosper also announced it has appointed Stephan Vermut as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors. Prospers management team is undergoing change after several persons left in December (e.g. David Silverman, Larry Cheng, Jeffrey Jacobs). The SEC recently approved Prospers new ProsperFunding LLC, a legal structure set up to offer bankruptcy protection for investors in the event of an bankruptcy of Prosper Marketplace Inc.

(Sources: press release & other)

Prosper CEO Chris Larsen Steps Down announced today, that Prosper founder and CEO Chris Larsen moved from the role of CEO and Chairman to serve exclusively as Chairman. He will be replaced by Dawn Lepore, who previously served as CEO and chairman of Lepore will serve as interim CEO. Larsen said:

“As Prosper continues to achieve incredible growth, now is the time to embrace the next phase of the company’s evolution. As Chairman, I look forward to working closely with the executive team to build a truly innovative consumer credit company.”

Lepore led from 2004 until its successful sale to Walgreens in 2011. During her tenure, Lepore repositioned the company to focus on over-the-counter, beauty, and vision business segments.

Prior to, Lepore held positions at The Charles Schwab Company. In her 21-year tenure, Lepore played a key role in launching and building the firm’s highly successful e-commerce business. Lepore also served as Schwab’s CIO, a member of Schwab’s Executive Committee, and a trustee of Schwab Funds, among other executive roles.

Lepore currently serves on the board of eBay, Inc., and was appointed on Feb.23rd to Inc. board of directors.

How Do the Efforts of Prosper and Lending Club in Search Engine Marketing Compare?

Internet ventures are dependant to a certain degree to new visitors that are referred to them via search engines. A visitor that did a search on a very specific search term, e.g. ‘get a personal loan’ will have a very high chance to sign up if after that search he is introduced to the Prosper or Lendingclub website. There are tools that measure how ‘visible’ a domain is on Google and other search engines providing an index chart, that allows to compare the visibility of several websites.

Prosper’s visibility index (blue line) is much higher than Lendingclub’s. ranks good for more and more important keywords in organic search rankings. Organic search means, that Prosper shows in a the search results at search engines that are not paid ads. But which search terms do the actually rank for? Continue reading