UK lender Zopa hits $1bn valuation

UK online lending firm Zopa has raised $300 million in its latest funding round, giving it a ‘unicorn’ valuation of $1 billion according to sources reported by CNBC.

The round was led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, which has also made large investments in Revolut and Klarna this year.

The current valuation is almost double the £188 million Zopa was valued at in December 2019.

Zopa reported net operating income of £21.9 million in the first half of 2021, double that of 2020, and predicts it will more than double its revenue this year.

The FinTech, founded in 2015, began in the peer-to-peer lending space before securing a UK banking license in the June 2020.

Zopa claims to have collected £700 million in deposits and gained 150,000 credit card customers since it first launched its credit card and savings account last year.

In June, Zopa announced its intent to list publicly in London next year or in early 2023, alongside plans to eventually enter the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) space.

The funding round is currently pending regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

London is second in the world in terms of the number and success of its FinTech companies, beating all the competition apart from San Francisco, according to a new index from Findexable.

New York, Sao Paulo, and Tel Aviv rounded out the remaining spots in the top five, coming third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

“In a very crowded ecosystem that often focuses on current accounts or other free money management offerings, Zopa meets customer needs by focusing on how they borrow and save, the two things that have most impact on their finances,” said Jaidev Janardana, chief executive at Zopa. “Softbank Vision Fund 2’s investment into our future is a clear validation of Zopa’s responsible, sustainable and profitable approach to lending, our strong unit economics, and our vision to build the UK’s strongest performing bank with the most happy customers."

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