Gonzalo Vizcardo: I’ve recently been researching peer-to-peer lending, where people group to lend to others, bypassing banks and, thus, for those who lend, earning higher interest rates, and for those who borrow, paying lower interest rates.
“Prosper is the world’s largest peer-to-peer lending marketplace with more than 1,010,000 members and over $210,000,000 in funded loans.
Prosper allows people to invest in each other in a way that is financially and socially rewarding. On Prosper, people list and bid on loans using an online auction platform. Borrowers list loan requests between $1,000 and $25,000 and set the maximum rate they are willing to pay. Individual and institutional investors bid in minimum increments of $25 on loan listings they select. In addition to credit scores, ratings and histories, investors can consider borrowers’ personal loan descriptions, endorsements from friends, and community affiliations. Once the auction ends, Prosper handles the funding and servicing of the loan on behalf of the matched borrowers and investors.
Prosper was co-founded by Chris Larsen, co-founder of E-LOAN. Prosper has raised $57.7 million in venture capital and is backed by financial and technology luminaries including, Jim Breyer of Accel Partners; CompuCredit; Omidyar Network; Capital One Co-founder Nigel Morris of QED Investors; TomorrowVentures, which is personally financed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt; and Larry Cheng of Volition Capital.” (source)