Zopa, the UK P2P lending company, closes £60M round on path to launching a bank


Obtaining a banking license and then launching an actual new retail bank requires capital. A lot of capital. Enter Zopa, the U.K. peer-to-peer lending company that wants to become a bank, which today is announcing that it has closed £60 million in further funding. Only £16 million is actually new new money, having already disclosed £44 million in August, so this is effectively an extension of that earlier fund-raise.

The purpose remains the same, however: Zopa says it will use the latest round of investment toward the capital needs for its yet-to-launch “next generation bank.” The company began applying for a bank license with the U.K. regulators in 2016. The new funding also comes off the back of what the fintech claims is its sustainable and profitable peer-to-peer business, having achieved full-year profitability in 2017 for the first time since 2012.

An early mover in the space — launching all the way back in 2005 — Zopa says it has served nearly half a million customers, either through loans or investing in peer-to-peer loans. It has lent more than £3.7 billion in unsecured personal loans to customers in the U.K.

The next phase of Zopa is all about becoming a new digital bank, alongside its peer-to-peer business, in order to be able to offer “a unique and broader set of products to customers.”

“Our bank will allow us to give more people a better experience with their finances by introducing more simple, fair products — like savings accounts and credit cards,” a company spokesperson tells me.

At launch this will include offering FSCS-protected savings accounts, and P2P investments (including IFISAs for investors), and personal loans, car finance and credit cards for people looking to borrow.

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“Our money management app will offer our customers a more personalised approach to managing their money,” adds the spokesperson.

Cue Jaidev Janardana, Zopa CEO (pictured above): “This new funding takes us a step closer to realising our vision of being the best place for money in the U.K. Having served half a million customers to date, Zopa is set to redefine the finance industry once again through our next generation bank to meet a broader set of U.K. customers’ financial needs.”

Source: TechCrunch

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