Innovation That Matters

Prosper, one and all | Update

Financial Services

In March, we wrote about Prosper, the people-to-people money lending marketplace. Time for an update! Since its launch in February 2006, Prosper has signed up 100,000 memberships and has generated more than USD 20 million in loans. Prosper lets interested borrowers create a loan listing for up to USD 25,000. Lenders can bid on loan listings in increments of USD 50 to 25,000, and often minimize their risk by bidding on numerous loans at the same time. Banks, of course, are cut out of the equation. Instead, Prosper charges borrowers a one-time 1% fee on funded loans, and lenders a 0.5% annual loan servicing fee. For more examples of peer-to-peer lending, check out British Zopa, which plans to launch in the United States soon, and Kiva, which specializes in microloans to entrepreneurs in the developing world.



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