Peer-to-peer lender Zopa reportedly in talks for new £50m fundraising

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Zopa is headquartered near London Bridge (Source: Getty)

Peer-to-peer lender Zopa is in talks with investors over a fresh round of fundraising, with the fintech firm today announcing a shake-up of its structure in preparation for launching a new banking arm.

Zopa is looking to raise around £50m and could value the firm at up to £400m, according to Sky News.

Existing investor Wadhawan Global Capital, an Indian investment house, will lead the round which could also include new sources, Sky News said, with a plan to go to the market within the next two years for an initial public offering.

Read more: Zopa becomes first consumer peer-to-peer group to lend out £100m in a month

Wadhawan backed Zopa in a previous fundraising round of £32m last June, along with Northzone, the venture capital firm which has previously backed Spotify, iZettle and MarketInvoice, among others.

A spokesperson for Zopa declined to comment on the fundraising plans.

The reported fundraising comes as the lender prepares to launch a “next-generation bank”, with a restructuring which will establish separate boards for the peer-to-peer (P2P) business and a separate bank arm subject to a licence application. There will also be a parent group with its own board.

The reshuffle includes the hiring of Christine Farnish, chair of the P2P Finance Association and a former group managing director for public policy at Barclays, as a non-executive director on the peer-to-peer side of the business.

Read more: Zopa's raised £32m as it prepares to launch a challenger bank

On the banking side, Zopa has hired Peter Herbert, a former managing director at Barclaycard, Richard Goulding, a former group chief risk officer at Standard Chartered, and Paul Cutter, chief technology officer at Paddy Power Betfair.

Zopa has been pursuing a headlong growth strategy in its bid to disrupt British lending, which is still dominated by the big incumbent banks. It has lent out more than £3bn since being founded in 2005.

In November the firm became the first of the consumer peer-to-peer firms to lend out more than £100m in a month, and it lent out almost £1bn in total last year.

Read more: Zopa just got full approval as a P2P lender from the FCA

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