After teetering on the edge of the milestone last week, the weekend saw Zopa become the first UK peer-to-peer platform to facilitate the equivalent of $1 billion (£598m) in consumer lending.
Founded way back in 2005, Zopa was the world’s original peer-to-peer lending platform. The platform has experienced exponential growth over the past year – its cumulative volume jolting upwards by £159 million in 2014 alone, according to AltFi Data. Zopa’s growth rate for the past 12 months stands at 67.35%. Zopa has over 57,000 active lenders – to whom it expects to deliver over £10m in interest over the course of 2014. The platform has returned £37m in interest to those lenders so far.
“To become the first British peer-to-peer lender to surpass the billion dollar mark is a massive achievement, and something made only possible by our customers who are willing to try something different and new. The peer-to-peer industry is growing faster than ever and we’re looking forward to offering new products like ISAs in the near. Our mission at Zopa is to reward people who are sensible with their money by providing better value for both borrowers and lenders as well as outstanding and award winning customer service.”
Zopa has the longest track record of any peer-to-peer lending platform in the world at 9 years, and yet also boasts the lowest default rate of any UK bank or peer-to-peer lender. That’s a highly impressive achievement that flies somewhat in the face of logic – which dictates that the younger platform’s younger loan books should be less likely to experience defaults. Zopa has now approved over 104,000 loans, for 63,000 active UK borrowers – which accounts for just above a 1% share of the personal loans market. All these statistics go some way towards fleshing out the ongoing success story of the UK peer-to-peer sector’s leading light.
Some time tomorrow Zopa will likely pass the £600 million mark. For context, its closest competitor in the consumer lending space (RateSetter) hit £300 million in cumulative lending at the start of August, and Funding Circle went through that same milestone in June.