For the first time ever monthly loan volume at the two big U.S. p2p lenders, Lending Club and Prosper, exceeded $50 million. Their combined $50.8 million This was $3.7 million more than last month and a staggering $29.7 million more than the same month just last year. Even as the numbers are getting larger both companies are easily maintaining better than a 100% annual growth rate.
Lending Club Ends March with $39.5 million in New Loans
I chatted with Lending Club’s chief marketing officer, Scott Sanborn, this week and we talked about the impressive growth that Lending Club has experienced lately. He said that they like the current pace they are on, and while they have enough opportunities on both the lender and borrower side to grow even faster, this current rate of growth is optimal. They can add headcount at a predictable pace while making sure their technology infrastructure is always ahead of the demands placed on it by the increased volume.
It seems to be working. Investors continue to flock to the platform on both the retail and institutional side of the business. And even with the 2,914 loans issued in March the number of loans available to investors on the platform at any one time continues to be strong – usually between 500 and 800 loans.
Below is their impressive monthly loan volume chart for the last 18 months. The black line is the three month moving average and as you can see it just keeps getting steeper.
Prosper Records Another Month of Steady Growth
While Prosper’s growth has slowed down a little in recent months they are still keeping their record growth streak alive. They have now posted positive loan volume growth for 18 consecutive months and they ended March with a record $11.2 million dollars is new loans issued. This compares to just $4.5 million in new loans in March 2011.
What was most impressive to me about this past month for Prosper was that there was a broad base of volume. In February, Prosper’s top two institutional investors were responsible for almost half the loan volume but this month it was a different story. Of course, Worth-blanket2 continued their steady investment with another $2.4 million in new loans according to Lendstats. But apart from WB2, there were only two other institutional investors who made sizable investments in March. Index_Plus invested $262K and P2P_Investor kicked in $132K. So, it looks like institutional investors were responsible for less than 30% of the loan volume this past month.
This means that there must have been strong support from a large number of smaller investors. Maybe some of the changes Prosper has made has had an impact for the smaller investor. Below is their 18-month loan volume chart.