Chris Larsen is a business executive and angel investor best known for co-founding several Silicon Valley technology startups, including one based on peer to peer lending. In 1996, he co-founded the online mortgage lender E-Loan, and during his tenure as CEO E-Loan became the first company to freely provide consumers' FICO credit scores. By 2000, E-Loan's market value was estimated at $1 billion In 2005, Larsen left the company when it was sold to Banco Popular. In 2006, he co-founded Prosper Marketplace and he served as CEO until 2012. Later in 2012, he co-founded the company Ripple Labs, Inc., which developed Ripple, software that enables the instant and direct transfer of money between two parties.
Self-described as "radically pro-consumer," Larsen has been a vocal advocate of financial privacy in California, and in 2001 he co-founded the coalition Californians for Privacy Now. He has appeared as a speaker at industry events such as Sibos, SWIFT's flagship conference, and written articles for publications such as American Banker. He is also a board-member or advisor for organizations such as Credit Karma, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Qifang, and Betable.
On January 4, 2018, Forbes estimated Larsen's worth at $59 billion, briefly putting him ahead of Mark Zuckerberg and into fifth place in their list of world's richest people. In 2020, he ranked No. 319 in the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.
In 2020, Larsen and Ripple each donated US$1 million to five San Francisco food banks for COVID-19 relief efforts.
Early life and education
Chris Larsen was born in San Francisco, California, in 1960. His mother worked as a freelance illustrator, while his father worked as an aircraft mechanic for United Airlines at San Francisco International Airport. After high school, Larsen attended San Francisco State University, where he earned a B.S. in international business and accounting in 1984. He began working for Chevron after college, doing financial audits in Brazil, Ecuador, and Indonesia. He graduated with an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1991.