UK fintech Zopa reaches $ 1 billion valuation with SoftBank investment



LONDON, Oct. 18 (Reuters) – UK digital bank Zopa has raised $ 300 million from investors, including Japanese group SoftBank (9984.T), it said on Tuesday, as the lender seeks to expand its activities before a possible listing from the next year.

The roundtable values ​​Zopa at around 750 million pounds ($ 1.03 billion), a source familiar with the details of the transaction told Reuters.

“SoftBank has identified us as the clear leader in digital consumer lending in the UK, and they also strongly believe in using AI and machine learning for lending and pricing, which we’ve been doing this for years, ”CEO Jainav said. Janardana told Reuters.

The cash injection through SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2 is the latest in a series of investments in UK fintech firms by the Japanese conglomerate.

It also owns stakes in OakNorth, which lends to small businesses, and in digital banking app Revolut which in July reached a valuation of $ 33 billion after an $ 800 million fundraiser led by SoftBank. .

Zopa’s new valuation marks a significant turnaround since media in December 2019 estimated it at £ 354million, after one of its investors downgraded its stake in the lender amid struggles for the peer-to-peer lending industry where Zopa is from.

The funding round puts Zopa on track for a long-standing initial public offering in London as early as the fourth quarter of next year, Janardana said.

Zopa also aims over the next year to expand into the booming ‘Buy now, pay later’ industry in Britain, he said, joining other lenders who are flocking into the product from credit that allows buyers to defer payments for goods such as clothing and electronics.

The deal was announced Tuesday at a summit in London attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, major financiers, industry leaders and Britain’s royal family and aimed at boosting investment in the country. Read more

($ 1 = 0.7276 pounds)

Reporting by Lawrence White, editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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