Who Owns The P2P Lending Sites?
This page was last updated on 20 February, 2019
For fast-growing startup companies – which includes most P2P lending sites – being profitable isn't usually the best measure of whether it will succeed. This is especially the case since most of them are not profitable.
And you don't expect them to be. They need and want to grow rapidly and to do so they have to plan to burn more money than they make.
To see if a P2P site seems safe from going out of business, at least for the foreseeable future, it could be more effective to see who is backing them.
Are they being backed by investors, preferably from big-name investors, who have bought shares in their businesses? Or, were they founded and are being operated by profitable and far larger businesses?
Here is how some of them are doing in that regard, based on the limited information available. I am focusing here on P2P lending sites that have more impressive owners or have received a lot of money from investors. We shall update and grow the following list as and when we can, and we'll share it with our newsletter subscribers afters significant updates:
- Zopa received another £40 million in 2017, this time from Wadhawan Group, which manages investments of $8 billion. Zopa has previously received tens of millions from investors.
- RateSetter* recently received another £13 million from Woodford Investment Management (managed by the UK's most successful fund manager) and Artemis, a huge fund-management business. It has also received tens of millions of pounds from investors in the past.
- Octopus Choice is owned and operated by Octopus Investments, a company that that manages £6 billion in investments and that has been profitable every year from 2008 to 2018.
- MarketInvoice received £26 million From Northzone, Barclays and Santander Innoventures in 2019. Previously it had already raised £5 million from Northzone in 2014, and £7.2 million more from both Northzone and MCI Capital, a listed Polish private equity group, in 2016. Northzone is an early-stage investment company that invested in Spotfiy and Trustpilot.
- FundingKnight is owned by GLI Finance, which owns or part-owns several P2P sites. GLI Finance has gone through a rough patch, losing a lot of money, and it's name has been significantly damaged. But it still claims to have impressive assets (assets are things it owns that are worth something). It recently valued its assets at nearly £100 million more than its debts, and investors gave it another £20 million in 2016.
- Orchard Lending Club is owned by Orchard Funding Group Plc, which is a profitable business.
- ArchOver* is at least part-owned by Hampden Group, which manages insurance assets and underwriting capacity in excess of £4 billion. Hampden also lends in loans on the ArchOver website.
- Landbay* is part-owned by the crowd. In its sixth fundraising round through equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs, it raised an additional £1.6 million in sprint 2018, taking the total raised to £6.5 million in five years.
- LendingCrowd* received £2.2 million in funding in spring 2018 from Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank, and is looking to raise a larger sum within 12 months.
- Funding Circle is backed by investors who backed Betfair, Skype, LoveFilm, Facebook, Supercell, Spotify and Wonga. Its other major investors also include Index Ventures, Accel, BlackRock, DST Global, Rocket Internet, and Temasek. Funding Circle has raised over £320 million from all its investors up to August 2018.
- In 2018, Lending Works* was backed to the tune of £2.8 million by Maven Capital Partners, Pollen Street Capital and NVM Private Equity.
- Growth Street* received £5 million in backing from Merian Chrysalis in 2019. Merian Chrysalis is a new investment fund that listed on the stock market in 2018 valued at £100 million. A further £2.5 million was invested by other investors at the same time, including Growth Street's chairperson, Christiaen van Lanschot. Growth Street's founders had previously contributed approximately £2 million to found Growth Street and to initially pre-fund its reserve fund.
Please be patient. As I said, we'll grow this list as we get more information and will work to include the position of P2P lending sites with less big-name backers.
*Commission and impartial research: our service is free to you. We already show dozens of P2P lending companies in our accurate comparison tables and we keep adding more as soon as they provide us with enough details. We receive compensation from ArchOver, Landbay, LendingCrowd and RateSetter, and other P2P lending companies not mentioned above when you click through from our website and open accounts with them. We vigorously ensure that this doesn't affect our editorial independence. Read How we earn money fairly with your help.