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.
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.
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.