P2PMarketData Methodology

Below, we outline our approach to gathering and analysing the data. Read on to learn about our main data sources and P2PMarketData’s classification of crowdfunding platforms.

Where do we get our data from?

Partnering platforms

The core of our data comes directly from our partnering platforms. We only cooperate with fully transparent platforms and exclude any platforms sharing incorrect or misleading numbers immediately and without further notice. We are open to platforms from all over the world, although at the moment the majority of our partners come from Europe.

We publish platforms’ data and information gathered in the following ways:

  • Unique reported data: the platforms share their funding volumes with us every month, so you can track the crowdfunding market trends in near real-time. None of the numbers you see on our site is an estimation – the data comes directly from platforms’ loan books.
  • Other inside information: we interview platform managers to learn more about the key market players and receive updates from platforms on recent or upcoming changes.
  • API interfaces: we automatically connect to platforms’ APIs to share information in real-time on P2PMarketData.com, for example, about live projects currently available for investments.
  • Platforms’ public information: we draw information on platforms’ features directly from their websites.

Other data sources

To provide a comprehensive picture of the crowdfunding market, we use a range of complementary data sources. We rely primarily on resilient data from primary sources. If we use a secondary source, we always double-check and verify the information, and provide a clear reference to the original source. The most important sources we use include:

  • Business registers: we collect data on the companies that manage platforms from official registers in their headquarters countries.
  • Press articles and market reports: we stay tuned with market developments and often verify trends we spot in our data against other prominent sources, such as Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF).
  • The crowd: we are open to inputs and suggestions from you!

We strive to research and update information in the P2PMarketData universe with the utmost care. However, the crowdfunding world evolves rapidly, and we cannot always guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information we provide. If you spot any outdated or inaccurate piece of data, please let us know – we will double-check and correct it as soon as we can.

How do we categorise platforms?

To best keep track of market trends and make browsing the growing number of platforms easier for you, we categorise platforms along two main aspects: their funding model and the investment types offered. We have based this classification on existing analysis of crowdfunding platforms, most notably CCAF's Global Alternative Finance Market Benchmarking Reports, the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) FinTech Credit Report, and the Swiss Marketplace Lending Association’s (SMLA) Marketplace Lending Report. However, we have adapted their methodologies to match our platform pool and incorporated additional elements based on our own insights. You can find out more about each model and type by clicking on the hyperlinked text – it will take you to a dedicated entry in our glossary.

Funding Model

The platform’s model tells you what the process of funding projects looks like and what kind of reward/return you should expect in exchange for making your capital available to the fundraiser.

First, we distinguish between five main crowdfunding types, depending on the kind of reward investors or donors receive. Investment crowdfunding platforms offer a financial reward – in marketplace lending, this is interest from lent capital, in equity crowdfunding – participation in a venture’s profit, and in invoice trading – the difference between the sale price and invoice value, called a discount. Non-investment crowdfunding offers either no reward at all – you can simply support local social and civic initiatives (donation crowdfunding), or a non-monetary reward – you may, for example, support your favourite band in exchange for a signed copy of their latest album (reward crowdfunding).

Expected reward by five core crowdfunding models
Expected rewards in five core crowdfunding models

Second, we break down marketplace lending into three further sub-types. This division is primarily based on the extent to which the platform engages in the funding process. In direct (peer-to-peer, or P2P) lending, the platform acts as an intermediary, providing transparent and safe online space for borrowers and lenders to connect. In balance sheet lending, the platform’s role extends to funding loans – the platform is no longer just an intermediary – it is an active player with stakes in the projects it publishes. Finally, in the resale lending model, the platform plays a lesser role – it doesn’t serve the borrowers but merely services the lenders and aggregates and re-sales loans from lending companies (loan originators), which originate the loans. Finally, in the crypto marketplace lending model, the platforms facilitate debt investments in the crypto world. It can involve investing in loans in fiat currencies, secured by cryptocurrency collateral (centralised crypto lending - Ce-Fi) or pooling assets in an application governed by code (smart contracts), which generates loans and automates yield payments (decentralised crypto lending - De-Fi).

Role of platforms in the three main marketplace lending models
Platform role in three main marketplace lending models

Investment type

Investment type is another crucial distinction – it tells you what kind of project you can fund on a crowdfunding platform. We distinguish between four main investment categories, depending on who’s the receiver of your investment or donation: individuals (consumer investments), start-ups and SMEs (business), property developers (property), and HODLers of crypto assets (crypto). Further down the line, we list specific investment products, based on the purpose of the fundraising - for example, consumers can borrow money to buy a car, finance their education, or cover short-term unexpected expenses.

Fundraisers distributed by the five main investment types
Fundraisers in the five main investment types