The numbers are in on Prosper Marketplace’s 2015 performance.
Q4 proved to be a record breaking quarter for Prosper, with $1.15bn in loans originated through the platform. The $1.15bn closes out a year in which a grand total of $3.7bn was lent. That’s more than double what the platform accomplished in 2014, when $1.6bn was lent on the year. Prosper’s cumulative lending volume now sits somewhere between the $6bn and $7bn mark. SoFi hit the $6bn mark about a week before Christmas. The race for second place in the marketplace lending volume game is heating up.
We also learn that Prosper hired a massive 105 people in the 4th quarter of 2015 alone. For some perspective, there are perhaps only 3 platforms in the UK – perhaps less – that employ over 100 staff. Prosper is now home to 623 employees, up from 238 at the close of 2014.
Prosper revenues grew from $81m in 2014 to in excess of $200m in 2015. The platform notched its first profitable quarter in Q3 2014 – with $2.7m in profit. It’s unclear whether or not the company continues to be profitable. The revenue numbers are way up, but the platform is investing heavily in growth – as its Q4 2015 hiring spree alone aptly demonstrates. Other areas of expenditure over the past year include technology. The platform has completed a “technology rewrite”, sharpening its infrastructure, hardware, software, servicing, documentation and more. Prosper also completed a pair of acquisitions in 2015, snaffling up American Healthcare Lending (now known as Prosper Healthcare Lending) and BillGuard. The former of the two deals has allowed the platform to bolster loan originations in the medical space by 288% in 2015 versus the previous year.
Could 2016 be the year that Prosper joins the ranks of the publicly listed? The rumour mill has turned ever since rival consumer lender Lending Club completed its landmark IPO. Prosper last raised equity money in April 2015, with Credit Suisse NEXT Investors leading a $165m Series D round. The fundraise carried a post-money valuation of $1.87bn. In his 2016 predictions, Peter Renton of LendAcademy asserted that the US marketplace lending space would see no less than 5 IPOs in the coming year. Prosper is a prime candidate to make up the numbers.
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.