A Roundup of Peer-to-Peer Lending in 2015

18 December, 2015

2015 marks the 10th birthday of peer-to-peer lending from when UK-based ‘Zone of Possible Alignments’ (ZOPA) introduced and ran with the concept that people could lend and borrow to each other over the Internet.

In this article, I pinpoint a few key landmarks in global P2P lending and give an overview of where the industry is today.

The Hall of P2P Fame

 

USA-based LendingClub continues to grow 100% year-on-year and has impacted over 1 million individuals.

USA-based Prosper crossed US$ 5 billion of loans this year with a remarkable growth story.

UK-based FundingCircle is knocking at the door of a $1.5 billion landmark in loans disbursed, and has expanded into the USA and Germany with the mission of preserving the lifeline of the global economy - giving SMEs access to credit.

CreditEase, RenRenDai, Jimubox, Diangrong, Lufax, and PaiPaiDai are some of the leading platforms in the world’s largest P2P market - China. In China, there is $US 50+ billion in loans outstanding and monthly loan disbursal is growing 4x year-on-year.

New Zealand-based Harmoney has disbursed $US 100 million in its 1st year of operations in a market with a population of just 4 million. It has also begun expansion into Australia.

The Hall of P2P Shame

 

Sweden-based Trustbuddy declared bankruptcy in October after the management declared it was using lenders’ funds to finance its own operations.

China-based Ezubo, which experienced rapid growth in 2015 and boasted around 5 million investors, is now under investigation for illegal operations.

Check out my interview with Crowdfund Insider here, where I go more in depth about how management of P2P lending companies must lead with integrity, discipline, and transparency.

Banks jump on board the P2P train as it picks up speed … but as competitors or friends?

 

Barclays, Citibank, JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, Westpac, and Santander are just some of the established banks that have partnered in different ways with P2P lending companies. Some of those include providing equity, liquidity, and customer referral.

Goldman Sachs has decided has decided to set up its own P2P lending platform.

Regulations

 

Regulators can play a proactive role in peer to peer lending globally. We have an established, decade-old framework from the UK and USA model that can be adopted in other parts of the world.

VC Backing

 

US-based SoFi raised US$1 billion in a Series E round led by Soft Bank

China-based DiangRong raised US$ 200 million in a round led by Standard Chartered and is preparing to expand into emerging markets.

Here's to 2016

 

We should celebrate the success of the P2P industry - Lending Club’s IPO is no small feat and is an indicator of the future. We should salute the leaders who are inspiring others to revolutionize finance in all parts of the world.

Here’s to building the industry to new heights in 2016. If we do this responsibly, with discipline, and trust and transparency, the sky's the limit for the P2P space.

Mukesh Bubna
Founder of Monexo, a P2P lending marketplace serving Asia (www.monexo.co)