Another marketplace lender joins the unicorn club. Prosper's round was led by many of the banks, including Credit Suisse NEXT Investors, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust Banks, USAA and BBVA Ventures. the company pulled in $80 million in revenue on $1.6 billion in loan originations last year. And this year, the company believes it is on track to more than double its revenue, to $180 million.
The new round — whose valuation is more than double what the company was appraised at this time last year — continues to highlight the continued interest in loan marketplaces, which match would-be borrowers with willing lenders through the Internet using sophisticated computer algorithms. (Though the industry began under the name “peer-to-peer,” its members have gravitated toward the moniker “marketplace lending,” in part because so many of the investors in loans originated by the business are now huge financial institutions.) Lending Club, Prosper’s biggest competitor, went public last year in one of the more prominent stock debuts of 2014. Lending Club’s initial offering — the first in the industry — raised more than $870 million, exceeding expectations, and it now trades at a market value of about $7 billion.