Prosper Days 2008: Keynote from CEO Chris Larsen

Here are a few notes from Chris Larsen's Prosper Days keynote address.

  • Prosper provides strong loyalty and strong diversification
  • Shared several success stories of prosper loans (Soldier loan consolidation, loan for a toy business, super prime home improvement loan, charity loan for needy family, and a loan from a friend)
  • Prosper can improve borrower's credit
  • Prosper is growing - $120,000,000 in loans and 600,000 registered members
  • As he has mentioned before, lenders are avoiding subprime loans; in January 2007 subprime loans represented 24% of loans and in January 2008 they made up 5% of loans
  • "Attractive" ROI loans up nearly 200%
  • Prosper started giving rate guidance to borrowers and added rate tools for lenders
  • Prosper now warns bidders when they are likely to get a low estimated return
  • Portfolio plans were introduced this year
  • Rate guidance to borrowers has significantly reduced the number of borrowers requesting "low ROI" loans and increase the "attractive ROI" listings by 250%
  • Borrower requested features: schedule a date for a future payment, save listing draft to finish later, preview listing, re-use listing as template, pay loan with lending balance, have two active loans
  • Lender requested features: watch list, instant transfers, better guidance on manual bidding, addition of loan categories, show community payments on group, add "4+ months late" loan status, show history of second borrowers, instant transfers, 1099's on a single statement, increase max rate to 35%
  • Prosper opened a new forum and now has an official blog
  • Social capital - impact of groups on default rates; small groups do better than large groups
  • Endorsements from friends improved performance and rates
  • Collections improved - $34,665 collected in August 2007 and $69,807 in January 2008
  • Fraud prevention - first conviction for fraud
  • New feature - portfolio plans can be created and shared
  • Looking ahead - More lender control (tools, transparency, secondary market), growing attractive listings, credit crunch is an opportunity

Update: There was lots of blog and news coverage of the conference - ABC 7 was also there.