Peer-to-peer lender Zopa snags £32m in funding

Startups 100 company will use finance to accelerate growth, invest in product development and build its bank infrastructure

Zopa, the London-based online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender, has raised £32m in funding led by Wadhawan Global Capital and Northzone, alongside existing backers Arrowgrass, Augmentum Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Runa Capital.

Founded by Giles Andrews, Dave Nicholson, Tim Parlett, James Alexander in 2005, Startups 100-featured Zopa allows lenders and borrowers to connect with each other directly and avoid having to deal with banks.

The company then deals with money distribution, legal paperwork, carries out identity and credit checks, and employs a collections agency that can chase missed payments.

Lenders can spread small chunks of finance across multiple borrowers instead of risking it on one, while borrowers are made to sign a legal document. Zopa generates revenue by charging a fixed fee for borrowers and an annual fee of 1% for lenders.

Over the last 12 months, the company claims to have facilitated £800m in personal loans to UK consumers and became the first European P2P lender to make £2bn worth of loans in January.

The investment will fuel Zopa’s ongoing growth and product development, and support the building of its bank infrastructure ahead of its application for a bank licence later this year.

Jaidev Janardana, Zopa CEO, commented: “Zopa’s vision has always been to make money simple and fair for consumers, providing our customers with better value, better service, and greater choice.

“This investment gives us additional resources to continue our growth, support the launch of our next generation bank, and bring our award-winning products to even more people in the UK.”

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