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How long can Prosper survive?

November 28, 2009

Prosper has made much about the recent addition of Mr. Nigel Morris to its board – and the $1 million he brought along to the party.

As has already been noted by observers with deeper insight into the mechanics of all things Prosper, this cash infusion is little more than a minor bridge-loan, priced at a relatively steep 15% interest.  It is rather unclear how this fairly insignificant loan will impact Prosper’s future or delay what appears to be the inevitable demise of the company, as it continues on track to run out of operating funds in the near term.

On November 16, 2009, Prosper filed a 10-Q document with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which provides interesting insight into Prosper’s financial health.  Based on what is known about Prosper cash burn, the recent cash-infusion only buys Prosper an additional couple of months, with Prosper now expected to go broke in February 2010.

Despite the lackluster pace of new loan originations, there is some sense that there is still some potential value yet to be unlocked in this company.  What also remains unclear, however, is the extent to which Prosper is in a position to attract additional investments on favorable terms to operate beyond February 2010, considering the general current economic climate, the uncertainty regarding the viability of Prosper as a going concern, the current regulatory framework and Prosper’s situation with unresolved litigation.

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