How we reached $430K monthly loan volume and became the market leaders in the Bitcoin P2P lending space.
July brought in quite a bit of exciting news in the Bitcoin space and in particular for us at BitLendingClub. The Bitcoin price is reaching past the $270 mark and the media is touting Bitcoin as the next best thing for frustrated Greeks. At BitLendingClub, the biggest news came in after we closed the month of June: we managed to post higher lending volumes than any other platform in the space. We serviced $430K worth of loans last month, while BTCJam serviced $415K worth of loans. We’ve been working hard for the last few months become the leading platform, so this was a huge milestone for our team and our customers!
We have had a number of people ask us how we managed to take a lead. We’ve been making improvements in several areas:
- Lowered loss rates: this was a major effort which brought the loss rate down by more than 50% and we’ve kept it that low since March 2015. A loss rate of 7% is on par with the performance of the leading marketplace lenders like LendingClub and Prosper.
- Loan voting: users vote for loans which they like, so the good loans tend to bubble-up to the front page, where they get more visibility from lenders. In addition, each borrower has a strong incentive to share their listing on the social platforms (which increases our exposure).
- User referrals: we’ve come up with one of the best referral programs in the space. It allows us to spend virtually $0 on marketing, while utilizing the network effect in order to attract good borrowers. Referrals were responsible for 30% of new users and nearly 40% of new user loan volume last month! Each referrer brings us on average of about 4 new users.
However, the biggest thing that helped us take the lead is our team! We’ve come together under one philosophy: focus. Ever since we joined Boost VC, we learned that the biggest thing for the success of a startup is the focus. We focus on one task at a time, we put all of our effort into that task and we measure how that impacts our growth. We also listened to our customer’s feedback and on the occasions that we’ve made mistakes, we’ve always been able to take a step back and ensure we’re doing the best for our customers.
We’ve become the largest Bitcoin lending marketplace, but our numbers are positioning us for a lot more than just providing loans in the Bitcoin ecosystem. In the past year we’ve serviced over $4.8 million USD worth of loans, which is on par with LendingClub’s first-year volume of $4.8 million USD. However, there is a massive opportunity in bringing affordable lending to countries where the banking system is failing them. We’re seeing the financial failures across the the Eurozone and South America. We’ve had many bumps in the road since 2009, some companies have failed, others have flourished! Despite the challenges, Bitcoin’s greatest success has been at the point where banks fail! Some people are doubting whether Bitcoin is the real deal and Bitcoin businesses are not only proving that it’s the real deal: they’re proving that we’re here to disrupt the status quo!