Zopa, the UK-based neobank that provides consumers with lending services, credit cards, and savings accounts, has closed a deal to raise £75 million in an all-equity investment.
The investment will be used to build new financial products, acquire customers, and make acquisitions.
Inside Round from Existing Investors
The company did not disclose a lead investor, but CEO Jaidev Janardana confirmed that it was an inside round from existing investors, including IAG Silverstripe, Uprising, and Augmentum.
SoftBank, which led a $300 million round in 2021, remains an investor and board member but was not involved in this round.
No Actual Valuation Provided
Zopa says the funding “cements and markedly enhances” its unicorn status, but did not provide an actual valuation. The company was valued at $1 billion in the 2021 round.
Rumours of Fundraising
There were whispers of the fundraising in September 2022, with reports saying Zopa was looking to raise around $100 million.
Some reports also noted that this could be the last fundraiser before going public, but Janardana declined to comment on any timelines.
Key Moment in the UK Economy
The funding injection comes at a key moment in the UK economy, where the IMF predicted that the UK would be the only major economy to shrink in 2023.
Despite this, challenger banks seem to continue to find traction with consumers and businesses seeking better rates and faster services than traditional banks.
Passed £3 Billion in Deposits
Zopa says it passed £3 billion in deposits in its savings business, with £2 billion in its loans business and 400,000 credit cards in circulation.
The company has 850,000 customers across its different businesses and is on track to be profitable for the full year in 2023, the first time since its founding 17 years ago.
Slowing Market Growth for Loans and Financial Services
Janardana notes that the market growth for loans and financial services has slowed down, with a demand for credit falling.
However, Zopa’s volumes are continuing to grow as customers move to digital and seek more options.
Expanding into Payments and Business Products
Acquisitions and new products will aim to capitalize on the growth of digital customers and diversify Zopa’s business.
The company would like to explore building products targeting businesses and expand further into payments alongside its credit, loan, and savings products.
Opportunity to Snap Up Assets
The current market is seeing a lot of pressure on valuations, making it harder for FinTech startups to raise more money. Zopa sees this as an opportunity to snap up those assets and says that the £75 million shouldn’t be seen as the ceiling for valuations.
The company has a lot of money in the bank still from previous rounds and investors are willing to chip in more for interesting deals.
Janardana added that Zopa has yet to explore raising any debt.