|[January 24, 2013]
Prosper Appoints Stephan Vermut CEO; Partners with Sequoia Capital
SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)--
Prosper, a leading peer-to-peer financing platform to invest and borrow
money, today announced it has appointed Stephan Vermut as Chief
Executive Officer and member of the board of directors. The former
founder and managing partner of Merlin Securities is a seasoned
entrepreneur, corporate executive and technologist with more than 25
years of experience in financial services. Mr. Vermut succeeds Dawn
Lepore, who has served as interim CEO since March 2012.
Prosper also announced it has named Ron Suber as Head of Global
Institutional Sales, and that Aaron Vermut will join as President after
a transition period with Wells Fargo. They will work closely with Mr.
Vermut, and their new business partner Sequoia Capital (News - Alert), to accelerate
Prosper's growth at a time when the market for peer-to-peer and
business-to-peer finance is rapidly expanding. In support of the
enhanced team, Sequoia led a $20 million round of financing, which also
included participation from all existing investors. Sequoia Capital
Partner Pat Grady will join the Prosper board of directors.
"I've watched with great interest over the past few years as the
peer-to-peer lending industry has grown substantially, and I believe
Prosper is in a unique position to offer both borrowers and lenders
unprecedented access to financial opportunity," said Vermut. "Dawn and
her team have attracted impressive talent and created the infrastructure
needed to continue to build growth on both sides of the Prosper
platform. I'm extremely optimistic about the potential for Prosper and
the industry in general."
"We've made great progress recently as shown by our 100% year over year
growth in revenue and loan originations. At the same time, we've also
been carefully searching for the right person to lead Prosper as it
moves towards its next phase of growth," said Lepore. "Steve is a
talented leader, as proven by his success in founding and groing Merlin
Securities, and he has a unique understanding of how technology can be
used to disrupt and ultimately improve the financial services industry."
Mr. Vermut comes to Prosper from Wells Fargo (News - Alert), where he led the bank's
first foray into prime brokerage services. At Merlin Securities, Mr.
Vermut and his team created a superior prime brokerage service based on
cutting-edge technology that allowed for a customized approach to
managing investment portfolios. The firm established itself as a
customer-friendly alternative to some of the biggest financial services
institutions in the country.
Mr. Suber, former Managing Director at Wells Fargo Securities and Head
of Global Sales at Merlin Securities, brings more than 20 years of
experience in the financial services industry, including 14 years at
Bear Stearns, and will be responsible for expanding Prosper's presence
among institutional investors.
Aaron Vermut, currently Managing Director and Head of Prime Services at
Wells Fargo, was a founder and Managing Partner at Merlin Securities. As
President of Prosper, he will drive the strategic direction of the
company, applying his experience in building a successful
technology-driven, customer-centric business.
"Ron has deep and long standing relationships with many of the country's
top money managers that will be a huge asset to Prosper as we further
educate individual and institutional lenders on the benefits of these
uncorrelated, consistent returns, as well as the borrowers to the
reduced costs this platform offers," noted Vermut. "As President, Aaron
will bring experience and expertise that will be instrumental in helping
us realize the full potential of Prosper's business model."
Prosper is a leading peer-to-peer lending marketplace that connects
people who want to invest money with people who want to borrow money. On
Prosper.com, borrowers list loan requests between $2,000 and $25,000,
and individual lenders invest as little as $25 in each loan listing they
select. Over the past six years, more than $400,000,000 in personal
loans have originated through the Prosper platform. The unsecured
personal loans are used by Prosper borrowers for a variety of purposes
including paying down high interest rate debt and helping with small
About Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital provides venture
capital funding to founders of startups who want to turn business
ideas into enduring companies. As the "Entrepreneurs Behind the
Entrepreneurs," Sequoia Capital's Partners have worked with innovators
such as Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Bob
Swanson of Linear Technology, Sandy Lerner and Len Bozack of Cisco (News - Alert)
Systems, Dan Warmenhoven of NetApp, Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!,
Jen-Hsun Huang of NVIDIA, Michael Marks of Flextronics, Larry Page and
Sergey Brin of Google, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube (News - Alert), Dominic
Orr and Keerti Melkote of Aruba Networks, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Omar
Hamoui of Admob, Steve Streit of Green Dot and Reid Hoffman and Jeff
Weiner of LinkedIn (News - Alert). To learn more about Sequoia Capital visit www.sequoiacap.com.
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