The Startups 20: Zopa #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Startups 20: Zopa #StartUps


The Zopa story

Not many companies were made by the 2008 financial crisis, but Zopa’s fortunes were transformed by the global crash that practically destroyed people’s trust in the mainstream banking sector.

The company was founded in 2005, but its roots go a bit deeper. The five founders met when they were working at Egg Bank, which made waves when it launched as the UK’s first internet bank in 1998.

Zopa’s big idea was peer-to-peer lending – basically people looking for loans would be matched with investors looking for a decent return on the money they put in, with the money investors put in spread between different loans to reduce risk.

That became a much more attractive proposition in 2008, when savings rates were slashed and people realised both how vulnerable big banks are and just how reckless they’d been with other people’s money.

All of a sudden, people were open to lending and investing via a non-bank financial platform that offered far better rates than anything in the mainstream market.

And, from there, Zopa has grown massively; it now has over 500 employees and, as of May 2020, has lent over £5bn to over 470,000 UK consumers.

This means it’s gone from an upstart challenger to an established part of the UK financial scene. It even recently got a proper UK banking licence (more on that later), and has much bigger ambitions for the future.

Based on what it’s achieved so far, few would bet against Zopa taking another giant leap.


October 25, 2020 at 08:16PM by Alec Hawley, Khareem Sudlow