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Person-to-Person Lending 2.0

Disruptive service or market niche?

Jim Bruene

Dec. 15, 2007; OBR 148/149


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Abstract: Person-to-person lending is the perfect product for the Web 2.0-social-networked consumer. Why, then, has growth been relatively slow compared to other networked services? Because itís a difficult business. Not only are P2P lenders competing with 20,000 other financial institutions for good borrowers, the are up against thousands of investment alternatives for funds to lend, all the while waging a fierce battle with fraudsters and deadbeats. Itís not a business for the faint of heart.

In this report, we look at the market as a whole, examining the strengths and weaknesses of existing products. We list opportunities both for web-based startups and existing financial institutions and lay out a ten-year market forecast. Finally, we take a close look at the four major U.S. P2P lenders: Prosper, Lending Club, Zopa and Virgin Money.
Companies mentioned: Prosper, Zopa, Lending Club, Virgin Money USA, GlobeFunder, Loanio, Facebook, eBay
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