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Round ’em up

With all the excitement surrounding the launch of Prosper there has been a rush of blog writing about Zopa (and Prosper) – here are some edited highlights!

Getting in before the Prosper launch is Dennis Howlett, who describes Zopa, under the title Return of the Friendly society, as a "service that straddles credit unions and mainstream banking" and is "exquisite in its execution." We’ve often been compared to credit unions, and in some ways we see ourselves as a credit union for the 21st century. This is the central topic of a long post by Scott Patterson who argues that Zopa is still a middleman, and that the P2P model is not for everyone, but that the existence of Zopa is a wake up call to Credit Unions – but the unanswered question is who will execute their advantages?

Ho John Lee has written largely about Prosper, but talks about the potential for sites like Zopa and Prosper to extend into microfinance (in the Grameen Bank model), or into start up financing. Niki Scevak agrees with the microfinance angle and talks about P2P lending and micro finance as being "one the of best ways…of solving world poverty."

These are interesting possibilities that we’re considering hard.

Umair Haqur also makes an interesting suggestion on his Bubble Generation blog – that there is a huge amount of value to be captured by understanding the unsecured lending market in India and China, and that Zopa (or Prosper) might be able to get access to that. I couldn’t possibly comment. 🙂

Finally, for now – Johnnie Moore has written about Prosper, and highlights their group model as an interesting development of the Zopa proposition. James and I recorded a podcast with Johnnie last Friday – as soon as it’s up, I’ll link to that as well. (Advance warning – it was recorded in a local coffee shop, so it’ll be ‘atmospheric’)

Feel free to link to other blogs in the comments – always interesting to see what’s being written about us.

UPDATE: The podcast is online – thanks Johnnie and James for coming to see us. Hope you enjoy listening to the chat!

UPDATE: Crikey, as of 13:30 GMT the podcast has made it onto the front page of memeorandum which is very exciting. There’s a lot of online discussion about Prosper which is probably contributing, but Zopa is discussed explicitly by Martin Geddes in terms of the messaging we use between members and to members – interesting stuff which I totally agree with. Also, Chad over at Tech2Point0 likes our attitude! 🙂

Hey Prosper – you out there? Want to respond?