There's a buzz around Groundfloor HQ this month that resembles our earliest days as a new startup launching its first loan three years ago. The excitement of scaling up to launch 20 loans for investment in 10 days stretches to every part of the company, from the loan officers who work with our borrowers, to the software developers who build and maintain our website and backoffice, and everyone in between.

As those of you who've been with us the longest know, we've worked hard to deliver "more loans in more places." It's long been the #1 feature request we receive. Some companies might sacrifice quality to grow quickly and meet that demand, but not us. Instead, we did the opposite. We accepted slower growth while building a team and process that focused on finding better quality loans instead. Meanwhile, many would-be investors patiently sat on our waiting list while we invited as many as we thought we could accommodate.

Our efforts to build loan volume took time. Throughout 2016 we improved the practical application of our underwriting process. We added new personnel with decades of lending experience and tested new ways to drive efficiencies in our lending process. We continued innovating to refine our unique application of securities law that first took private lending public in over a year ago, while not one competitor managed to replicate that feat. New borrowers signed up as word spread, and we started getting to know them and identify how we could win their business within our stringent guidelines. 

It's working. As 2016 comes to a close, we now receive and process over 500 loan applications each month. Over the last three months, our data shows that less than 5% receive initial underwriting approval. Only half of those survive due diligence to close. Borrowing from Groundfloor requires meeting a high bar for the borrower and the project alike. Yet by the end of December we project that we will have offered more loans for investment in one month than we were able to offer over the course of any three month period before. We're very proud of those results and look forward to building on them in the months to come.

We have one more related update to share. You may notice a new addition to the disclosures on some of our loans pertaining to the advancement of funds to borrowers. The specifics of these advances are typically reflected in the topmost bullet point of the Project-Specific Risk Factors section (see image below). These advances are a form of bridge loan that we now offer to borrowers for certain projects.

This may be important to you and reflective of our progress in two respects. First, adopting this new funding technique helps attract the best borrowers. After all, they have the most options for where to take their business. They value speed and simplicity and can select their lender accordingly. Our ability to advance funds helps us to better meet their needs. Second, the funds to make these advances are provided by a new institutional financing partner with deep real estate lending expertise. Our underwriting processes and standards had to withstand their critical assessment for us to earn a 7-figure credit approval. That's an important vote of confidence in the professionalism and capabilities our lending operations team.

To close, even as we celebrate with gratitude for the progress of 2016, we know there's still much more to be done with Groundfloor in the new year. None of it is possible without the customers and partners who believe in our vision and trust us with their business. So thank you. We appreciate your confidence and look forward to serving you for a long time to come. 

In the coming weeks, we plan to publish some additional details and information about our lending operation. Watch this space. In the meantime, we invite you to write us at founders@groundfloor.us or comment below with any questions, feedback or suggestions.