March 15, 2011 08:00 ET

Wall Street Journal Names to 2011 "The Next Big Thing" List, One of Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies

Online Peer-to-Peer Lending Marketplace Named One of 50 Most Promising Companies in the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) -, America's first peer-to-peer lending marketplace with more than one million members and $220 million in funded loans, today announced that it was named to the Wall Street Journal's "The Next Big Thing" list for 2011, which recognizes the 50 most promising venture-backed companies, selected from more than 10,600 U.S.-based companies.

Prosper was founded as a way to bring a more efficient, transparent and trustworthy process to consumer finance, removing the barriers of traditional financing and giving consumers direct access to affordable funding starting at 5.9% APR*. For lenders, Prosper delivers a new asset class with annual returns averaging 10%**, the best in the category.

"We are honored to be selected by the Wall Street Journal, one of the most respected business publications in the world, for our work to transform consumer lending," said Chris Larsen, CEO and co-founder of " As we continue to innovate and lead the industry, we remain committed to providing borrowers and lenders with the most transparent, trustworthy consumer lending experience available."

An award committee from the Wall Street Journal looked at more than 10,600 U.S.-based venture-backed companies as a part of its selection process. The committee then ranked the companies according to the following criteria: the track record of success of the venture capital investors who sit on the company's board, the track record of success of the company's CEO, the recent growth of the value of the company, the amount of capital raised by the company over the past three years, and an editorial review by Wall Street Journal editors and reporters. To calculate the final ranking, the five weighted components for each company were summed, and the companies ranked by the final scores.

* Based on personal loans made to borrowers with an AA Prosper Rating. APRs by Prosper Rating range from 5.93% (AA) to 35.64% (HR). Rate offered is based on Prosper Rating and other factors and the actual rate may differ. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit to fund the loan. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for all terms and conditions. All loans made by WebBank, a Utah-chartered Industrial Bank.

** Net Annualized Returns represent the actual returns on Borrower Payment Dependent Notes ("Notes") issued and sold by Prosper since July 15, 2009. To be included in the calculation of Net Annualized Returns, Notes must be associated with a borrower loan originated more than 10 months ago; this calculation uses loans originated through February 28, 2010. To calculate Net Annualized Returns, all payments received on borrower loans corresponding to eligible Notes, net of principal repayment, credit losses and servicing costs for such loans, are aggregated then divided by the average daily amount of aggregate outstanding principal for such loans. To annualize this cumulative return, the cumulative number is divided by the dollar-weighted average age of the loans in days and then multiplied by 365. Net Annualized Returns are not necessarily indicative of the future performance of any Notes. All calculations made as of December 31, 2010.

About Prosper
Prosper Marketplace Inc. is America's first peer-to-peer lending marketplace with over one million members and more than $220 million in funded loans.

Prosper allows people to invest in each other in a way that is financially and socially rewarding. Borrowers list loan requests between $2,000 and $25,000 with loan terms of 1, 3, or 5 years. For example, a $5,000 loan with a 3 year loan term for a person with a Prosper Rating of A would have a 10.99% APR and scheduled monthly payments of $158.77, though the last monthly payment may differ slightly due to rounding. Individual and institutional investors invest 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. Prosper handles the 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; Bob Kagle of Benchmark Capital; CompuCredit; Omidyar Network; Capital One Co-founder Nigel Morris of QED Investors; Court Coursey of TomorrowVentures; and Larry Cheng of Volition Capital.

Notes offered by Prospectus.

Twitter: ProsperLoans

Contact Information

  • Prosper Press Contact:
    Laurie Azzano
    Prosper Marketplace Inc.