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Fund Do

Business borrowers and individual lenders come together on this new site.

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This story appears in the July 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Gary Richardson, 40, needs to borrow $25,000 to buy more inventory for his online eyewear business. He could try a credit card or a bank loan. But instead, the Locust Grove, Arkansas, business owner is borrowing the money through Prosper.com, a new online person-to-person lending site.

Launched in February, San Francisco-based Prosper offers loans up to $25,000 at a range of interest rates. After three months of operation, Prosper has more than 500 loan applicants seeking funds on any given day. Prosper CEO Chris Larsen isn't releasing loan statistics yet, but he believes his site's eBay-style model of connecting individual lenders with borrowers has huge potential. He's not the only one who thinks so--Zopa.com, a similar United Kingdom-based lending site, plans to enter the U.S. market this year.

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