Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Wonga Raises $13 Million in New Funding.
  • TransUnion Teams Up with EXL for CECL Compliance.
  • RightCapital Adds Student Loan Functionality to its Platform.

Around the web

  • PasswordPing wins Startup of the Year at 13th Annual 2018 IT World Awards. See PasswordPing at FinovateFall in New York next month.
  • Zopa to finance loans for CommuterClub season tickets, courtesy of a new partnership.
  • Xero announces integration with GoCardless.
  • PYMNTS.com profiles payroll, benefits, and HR platform, Gusto.
  • MicroStrategy appoints Marge Breya as Chief Marketing Officer.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Zopa Raises More than $57 Million to Support Next Generation Bank

P2P lending pioneer Zopa has raised more than $57 million in funding (£44 million) to support the launch of its challenger bank. The financing represents the first part of its current fundraising round, according to a post at the company blog, and comes amid reported strong growth for the sector and the company – including full-year profitability in Zopa’s P2P business in 2017.

The company’s intention to join the challenger bank revolution was signaled when it applied for a banking license in 2016. With growing concern from regulatory authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority over the appropriateness of loan-based crowdfunding and P2P lending as an investment for average investors, adding retail deposits via a challenger bank would provide additional funding support for Zopa’s operations.

And while the bank would be initially limited to savings products like deposit accounts, Zopa expects credit and unsecured debt products to follow soon thereafter. “We aim to be the best place for money in the U.K. and we believe that launching our bank is a key next step,” Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana said. “It allows us to offer a wider choice of products and to help our customers make smarter choices with their money.”

Named to the Financial Times’ FT 1000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies, Zopa announced a major milestone in February, when its investor community lent its three billionth pound to U.K. customers. Re-opening to new investors at the beginning of the year, Zopa also started 2018 by beefing up its executive ranks. The company added new Chief Financial Officer, Steve Hulme; Chief Risk Officer, Phillip Dransfield; and Chief Customer Officer, Clare Gambardella.

London, U.K.-based Zopa has now raised a total of more than $169 million in funding. The company’s investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Northzone, Augmentum Capital, and Wadhawan Global Capital. Zopa is one of Finovate’s earliest alums, having demonstrated its platform at FinovateSpring 2008.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Zopa Raises More than $57 Million to Support Next Generation Bank.
  • Mitek Helps Bring Mobile Deposit to Credit Unions.
  • Crypterium Releases Crypto-Fiat Solution.

Around the web

  • Sberbank Group CTO David Rafalovsky selected to lead Sberbank’s Technology Block.
  • BlueRush announces new Chief Financial Officer, Dave Badun.
  • Thomson Reuters adds Dealerweb and Icap pricing to its Reuters Capital Markets 19901 service.
  • MEDICI features Ayasdi, Feedzai, FixNix, IdentityMind Global, BehavioSec, and identitii in its roster of top RegTech startups.
  • Bankjoy to power mobile and online banking for Marshland Federal Credit Union.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Zopa’s Record Lending Figures Suggest a Healthy U.K. P2P Lending Sector

P2P lending platform Zopa not only announced its move back into profitability, it also released a handful of metrics suggesting growth sustainability in the P2P industry.

After the U.K.-based company was founded in 2005, it reached profitability in 2011 and continued that momentum until 2012. Five years later, and after a bit of restructuring, Zopa achieved revenues of $61 million (£46.5 million) in 2017. This represents 40% year-over-year growth from the company’s 2016 revenues of $23.5 million (£33.2 million).

The company attributes the growth to its increased focus on tech innovation, especially offering instant feedback on loan approvals, as well as its efforts to expand its customer base through partnerships. The boost in growth is also thanks to a rise in loan volumes. In 2016, the company lent out $906 million (£690 million) and last year increased it’s loan volume by 43% to $1.3 million (£985 million).

In a press release Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana said, “2017 was a landmark for us. We’re proud to see the company’s efforts reflected in our record lending figures, profitability and strong customer growth…. We’ve invested significantly in technology, in our proprietary back office infrastructure, and in our people, all of which have helped Zopa to continue to scale and grow sustainably.”

Some of those investments Janardana alluded to include the announcement of plans to launch a challenger bank; receiving full FCA authorization in May of last year; and, in 2018, restructuring the company with the appointment of a trio of new C-level hires. Helping to sustain this growth is a $41 million investment the company received about a year ago from Wadhawan Global Capital of India and Northzone.

These positive revenue figures as well as the increase in loan growth allude to the health of the overall P2P lending sector in the U.K. In fact, the U.K. P2P Finance Association (P2PFA) reports that, since the second quarter of 2017, growth in the U.K.-based P2P lending sector has a whole has increased more than 40% from $8.4 billion (£6.4 billion) to $11.7 billion (£9 billion) in the first quarter of 2018.

Much of this growth, the organization described, is thanks to an uptick in business borrowing. This may explain the region’s difference compared to the U.S., where P2P lending has fallen slightly out of favor– thanks to a decrease in both lenders and investors, as well as recent regulatory scrutiny. To let numbers speak for themselves, Lending Club’s market cap has fallen from $9.3 billion at its peak in 2015 to its current $1.6 billion.

Zopa’s former CEO Doug Dolton debuted the P2P lending platform at FinovateSpring 2008 at Finovate’s very first show in the Bay Area. Zopa co-founder Giles Andrews is now CEO. Last spring, the company unveiled its latest offering, the Innovative Finance ISA, the first tool to expand the company’s focus into broader banking products. Earlier this spring, Zopa ranked 278 on the FT 1000, the Financial Times’ list of the fastest growing companies in Europe.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate

  • Additiv Partners with Orange Business to Bring Digital Wealth Management to FIs.
  • Zopa’s Record Lending Figures Suggest a Healthy U.K. P2P Lending Sector.

Around the web

  • Iraq’s Banque Liban-Francaise completes upgrade to Temenos’ T24 core banking system.
  • P2P lender Zopa announces 40% revenue growth and a return to profitability.
  • Ohpen signs LeasePlan Bank as its latest customer.
  • Efigence implements technological side of Alior Bank open banking project.
  • Open Bank Project collaborates with Citizens Bank hackathon.
  • The World Economic Forum names Neener Analytics as a Technology for Integrity 2018.
  • YellowDog wins Business Innovation Award at inaugural Best New Business Awards.
  • Finicity forges data sharing agreement with USAA.
  • MapD debuts MapD 4.0 for interactive location intelligence at scale.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • doxo Teams with Coinstar to Facilitate Cash Payments for Underbanked.
  • Agreement Express Lands Funding from Frontier Capital.
  • Low-Code Development Platform OutSystems Forges Strategic Partnership with Atos.

Around the web

  • Iowa City-based Farmers & Merchants and Savings Bank to deploy Fiserv’s retail and business banking platform.
  • Zopa announces restructuring in advance of the launch of its challenger bank.
  • PYMNTS.com features Trulioo CEO Stephen Ufford in a conversation about the present and future of KYC.
  • Santander introduces its Santander One Pay FX service, a blockchain-based money transfer offering that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent technology.
  • Meniga CEO Georg Ludviksson selected as one of top 200 Fintech leaders in Europe
  • NuCypher teams with Origin Protocol to control access to sensitive information in decentralized marketplaces.
  • Efigence powers concept, UX, and design for BGŻOptima Bank’s new portal.
  • PYMNTS.com profiles anti-cyberfraud startup, Emailage.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

Around the web

  • PaySimple announces latest payment integration with Profit Rhino’s selling app for home service companies.
  • The Financial Times ranks Transferwise, Kantox, Zopa Featurespace, Trustly, Kreditech on its FT 1000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies.
  • Jumio and Insights Network partner to deliver “Passport” for blockchain projects.
  • LendingTree launches Credit Analyzer, a free credit and debt analysis tool.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fenergo Forges Strategic Partnership with Arachnys.
  • Personetics Powers New Intelligent Financial Assistant Didi from Israel Discount Bank.

Around the web

  • Thomson Reuters introduces investment research marketplace on Eikon to further MiFID II compliance
  • Xero opens new Wellington headquarters.
  • Trustly to expand its Pay N Play gaming payment product.
  • Zopa’s investor community lends 3 billionth pound to U.K. consumers.
  • Pendo Systems targets the insurance sector with Pendo Machine Learning Platform.
  • InComm expands gift card assortment in grocery partners with new brand offerings.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Japanese Telecom NTT to Distribute Trusona Technology in Japan.
  • RealtyMogul Introduces new President, Aaron Halfacre.
  • Tradeshift Launches Innovation Center to Bring the Blockchain to Business Commerce.
  • Payfone Teams Up with U.K. Mobile Network Operator.
  • Expensify Reports More than 1 Million New Users and Double the Partnerships in 2017.

Around the web

  • Auto Finance Excellence talks with AutoGravity CTO Sheng Wang, who discusses the company’s new security features.
  • Sam Maule talks with Kabbage founder Rob Frohwein.
  • F&M Bank selects Geezeo to enhance digital banking.
  • Kantox partners with BELLIN to help support SMEs expanding globally.
  • Mitek and IdentityMind announce integration to enhance their digital ID verification capacities.
  • Zopa re-opens its platform for new customers.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Zopa Boosts Executive Ranks with Trio of C-Level Hires

En route to its launch of a next generation challenger bank later this year, P2P lender Zopa is staffing up its executive ranks. The company announced today that it was appointing a new Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer, and Chief Customer Officer.

At the post of CFO, Steve Hulme comes to Zopa after a stint as CFO for Tandem Money. Previous to Tandem Money, Hulme was CFO for PayPal’s global credit business and CFO for Capital One’s business in the U.K. and Canada. He was educated at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, earning a BA in Geography.

Taking the helm as Chief Risk Officer is Phillip Dransfield. With a Masters in Commerce, Finance, and Banking from UNSW and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Wollongong, Dransfield held executive positions at TSB Bank and Lloyds Banking Group.

Zopa also hired a new Chief Customer Officer to start the new year. Clare Gambardella previously worked in a number of capacities for Virgin Active, and ended her tenure at the health club, gym, and spa network as Chief Marketing Officer. Also a veteran of the Boston Consulting Group, Gambardella was educated at the University of Cambridge, where she earned a degree in English Literature.

“We’re delighted to have three high profile and exceptionally talented people join the business,” Zopa CEO Jaidev Janardana said. “Our people are our biggest competitive advantage and these additions further strengthen our position.”

Along with the $41 million (£32 million) investment the company picked up last summer, the new hires are part of the preparation for the launch of Zopa Bank. The challenger bank will offer customers personal and auto loans, flat rate credit cards, and savings and investment products. “We’re uniquely placed to make the next generation bank a leader in consumer finance combining our customer-centric culture, agile technology and data excellence with a track record of loan origination and risk management,” Janardana wrote in a blog post last fall. “No other provider has this combination of attributes.”

Zopa made its Finovate debut in 2008. The London-based company* was founded in 2005 and has raised more than $112 million in funding. Named to the European Fintech 100 and ranked in the Inc. 5000, Zopa partnered with fellow Finovate alum Aire last fall and opened a new development center in Barcelona, Spain last summer.

*Updated to reflect Zopa headquarters in London.