Zopa adds Airbnb to partnership roster

By Ryan Weeks on Friday 7 October 2016

Alternative Lending

Leading marketplace lending platform Zopa has formed a disruptive partnership with home rental marketplace Airbnb.

Zopa, the world’s original peer-to-peer lending platform, has joined forces with Airbnb to offer affordable home improvement loans to users. Home improvement loans make up a significant proportion of Zopa’s consumer loanbook, with 54,000 people having used the platform for this purpose to date.

As part of the new partnership, borrowers can sign up to become an Airbnb host via the Zopa dashboard, and will then receive £50 off on a Zopa loan, if they earn £500 through Airbnb within six months of having signed up. If they earn £1,000, they’ll get £100 off.

The synergies between the two companies are clear. Many prospective Airbnb hosts will need to spruce up their homes before opening them up to users, and will often need a loan to finance such improvements. Zopa represents an affordable means of acquiring such funding, incentivisation notwithstanding.

“This new promotion brings together two services that are re-modelling their respective industries with a people-first approach,” said Zopa CMO Amy Miller (pictured above). “As more and more people look to rent out their spare rooms on Airbnb to boost their income, we wanted to provide a way of supporting and amplifying these activities and empowering customers to build the home and financial future they are looking for.”

The UK is home to thousands of Airbnb hosts, who earn on average £2k per year by sharing their home for just 46 nights. From April 2017, Airbnb hosts will be able to take advantage of a new tax break on the first £1k earned through the service.

Partnerships of this kind have formed a major part of Zopa’s growth plan over the past 12-18 months, during which time the platform has teamed up with Uber, UNSHACKLED.COM and Pariti.

“Airbnb helps everyday people across the globe earn a little extra income – money that can help pay their bills or improve their general standard of living,” said James McClure, general manager Northern Europe at Airbnb. “Home improvement is something that many of our hosts prioritise because of the healthy cash-cycle that it encourages. Well designed, comfortable listings are more likely to get good reviews and if a room looks good on its listing page, it’s more likely to stand-out next to its competitors. This all leads to a steady flow of guest enquiries, bookings and in turn more income for more improvements, which can trigger the cycle all over again.”

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