As announced on the official blog, Prosper joined the likes of Amazon, Walmart and IBM on Fast Company's 2008 list of the 50 most innovative companies.
From the award profile: "Borrowers include stretched homeowners, college-goers, credit-card junkies, and entrepreneurs; lenders are average folks, including Larsen himself, who has funded more than 450 loans. Intriguingly, with the credit crunch making it tougher on small-business owners to get capital to expand, more entrepreneurs are turning to Prosper as an alternative, posting business plans and photos as part of their pitches; these loans now account for about 20% of funded volume."
I also found this tidbit interesting, "So far, Prosper's lenders and borrowers are only in America, but a new joint venture would let Japanese lenders bid on American loans -- and the goal is to connect people (and capital) globally." We knew Prosper was looking to expand to Japan but I assumed that meant Japanese lenders lending money to Japanese borrowers. If the number of lenders increase without increasing the number of borrowers then interest rates will be driven down. Perhaps this is why Prosper recently increased their referral bonus for new borrowers.
The top three Fast Companies are Google, Apple and Facebook. Prosper has won numerous awards in the past including Time magazine's #1 website of the year in 2006 and one of the 50 best websites of 2007.