Prosper Launches – Social Lending

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San Francisco-based Prosper launched today (Prosper was called Circleone during its stealth stage).

Like London-based (and Benchmark funded) Zopa, Prosper is a marketplace for borrowers and lenders.

Individual borrowers say how much they need to borrow (up to $25,000) and the maximum interest rate they will pay. Interested lenders say how much they want to lend, and at what rate. Prosper takes the lowest price lenders and groups them into a loan.

It generally takes 2-4 days to close a loan, according to Prosper. However, a borrower can request an expedited loan, which will take the first lenders who meet the minimum requirements for amount and interest rate.

Prosper charges a number of fees, including a 1% closing fee to the borrower and a 0.5% annual loan maintenance fee for lenders.

Benchmark has funded both Zopa and Prosper. Other Prosper investors include Accel, Fidelity and Omidyar.

  • kugutsumen

    Horrible article. Can you make an effort which editor let this convulated wall of text on the techcrunch main page?

    • Michael Pinto

      “Can you make an effort which editor” = convoluted text

      PS You also spelled “convoluted” wrong as well…

  • Mike Coulter

    Steve, a timely and incredibly useful analysis/observation.

    Terrific stuff. (Which I will of course, tweet about, and indeed import into my ff room lists.)

    Superb, man thanks.

    • Mike Coulter

      I notice the bloke who commented before me above didn’t put a link to his name.

      Wheras I put in the wrong url in for myself.

      Must be too early for all of us.

  • Scott Fraser

    Agreed with Mike – this was forward thinking and well timed, keep it up Steve. Regarding the first posters comments about “editing”, I could care less – that was just a little noise in the signal.

  • scott

    RSS aggregation has not become a victim of its own success. FriendFeed is built on feeds and serves as an excellent example for providing dynamic discovery of unexpected value. The failures of RSS are more about how it has been positioned and promoted. I blame Dave Winer for turning RSS 2.0 into a locked-down half-baked proprietary format which is lacking the proper facilities to support the usability and security requirements necessary for mainstream adoption. Think about where we’d all be if someone decided that HTML 2.0 was good enough and stopped making improvements. FriendFeed has been successful because it has not been about promoting a file format.

    • Steve Gillmor

      fighting the last war is an even deader end. Dave WIner succeeded in routing around the tendency to over-engineer that frustrates progress. Realtime does not deprecate RSS any more than radio has gone away, or TV, etc. FriendFeed is now becoming successful in realtime precisely by enabling realtime tools. In the process they and Twitter are winning. Blame yourself for your partisan bullshit. Luckily, it isn’t working.

      • scott

        I agree that the war is over. Atom won. All the major players have chosen it over RSS 2.0. Your realtime/RSS radio/TV analogy does not make any logical sense. If I am a partisan, I am taking the side of the users of technology that don’t want to have to become technologists. I am also on the side of open standards and industry collaboration. Dave’s thinking was that end users should be able to easily edit the pseudo XML in an RSS 2.0 feed. The trade off was that it made it more difficult for developers to build useful applications on top of RSS. It’s no secret that Dave is harboring a lot of contempt for developers. Why do you think that is?

      • Steve Gillmor

        RSS is Atom. Your personalizing of this around Dave is typical of the tactics that slowed this down. Luckily we’re done with this argument. Move on and stop swiftboating. Doesn’t work in realtime.

  • ursulas

    I have a lot to learn.

    • francine hardaway

      That’s just how I feel, but that’s the good part. I love to try to understand real time means why Steve is going where he is going, using only the tools of my Ph.D in English:-) I am sharpening my geek to human translation skills. You know what he means: real time is the closest we come to non-virtual virtual communication:-) We are at the frontiers of language trying to explain it.

  • Mike @

    Steve, well written.. And very useful information.

    Good read ;)



  • Karoli

    Pfizer should be reading this, and responding in real time to their ill-advised effort to market using web tools. I doubt they have a clue right now as to what the term “motrinmoms” is about, but by the time they discover it the damage will be done and irreversible.

    • francine hardaway

      I just got an email from EmpowHer to all their staff from their Ops guy pointing to the Motrin campaign and basically saying “let’s learn from this and never participate in something like this.”

  • francine hardaway

    Oh, I forgot to say that the email came from a guy not generally involved in social media, so clearly this has already spread.

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  • Cliff Gerrish

    This idea of text as live broadcast is an important transition. You’ve laid it out for all to see. I got a sense of this idea reading Andrew Sullivan on “Why I Blog.”

    I particularly like the thought that real time is both necessary and too much. True on both the production and consumption side of the equation.

    On the Web, one-sentence links are as legitimate as thousand-word diatribes—in fact, they are often valued more. And, as Matt Drudge told me when I sought advice from the master in 2001, the key to understanding a blog is to realize that it’s a broadcast, not a publication. If it stops moving, it dies. If it stops paddling, it sinks.

    Andrew Sullivan –

  • Dave Martin

    Bravos, Steve. You have made a solid case for the promises of realtime and the need to create practical frameworks, personalized tuning tools needed to optimize the experience. Keep up your calls for the return of Track and API access.

  • Mathew A. Koeneker

    Great post! Although, if you have a good craft you can ride the surf for awhile with minimal paddling. ;-)

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  • Bain Kennedy

    I love to see this as news, Twitter, the little darling of the web. Really, it must be fun writing articles about them, day in and day out. Video becomes a first class object, it’s about time. It’s been that way since day one with Zannel, oh and on mobile too. However this probably will be good news for Zannel + Twitter hybrid users, now if Twitter supports it they can “microcast” (who comes up with the names of this stuff) on Zannel, and we can update their Twitter feed as well.

    By the way the statement “Since iPhone only supports YouTube, that defines the format.” the iPhone doesn’t only support YouTube, it supports the format H.264, so any individual can send Non-YouTube video content over to the iPhone if it’s encoded that way. We’ve been doing it for a while.

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