Who Owns The P2P Lending Sites?
This page was last updated on 5 December, 2019
It's a hot time in Read more.season with several companies offering highly attractive cashback of up to £4,000 or 5% (even up to 200% if you're just lending small amounts!)
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 the P2P lending sites are doing that have more impressive owners or have received a lot of money from investors:
- Zopa received £50 million from investors in 2018 from both new and existing investors, mostly for building out the new Zopa Bank. In 2017 it got another £40 million in 2017, from Wadhawan Group, which manages investments of $8 billion. Prior to that, Zopa had already received tens of millions from investors.
- RateSetter* received another £13 million from Woodford Investment Management (managed by the UK's most successful fund manager, although with a rather wounded reputation at the moment) 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 , a listed Polish private equity group, in 2016. Northzone is an early-stage investment company that invested in Spotify and Trustpilot.
- 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 and capacity in excess of £4 billion. Hampden also lends in loans on the ArchOver website.
- LendingCrowd* received £6.2 million from Upscale in 2019, which claims on its website to have helped tech startups raise £1.4 billion. This is on top of an earlier raise of £2.2 million in funding in spring 2018 from Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank.
- 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 Partners, Pollen Street 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 .
*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, Growth Street, LendingCrowd, Lending Works 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.