Zopa Ltd. is planning to raise as much as 200 million pounds ($253 million) as the online lender works to satisfy regulatory requirements en-route to winning a U.K. banking license.The company is talking to private equity and sovereign wealth funds about the cash, which could come in the next several months, Chief Executive Officer Jaidev Janardana said in an interview on Tuesday.
The firm got 60 million pounds in investments in November to help finance its plans to start a retail bank, adding to a 44 million-pound fundraising earlier in 2018.Zopa, the oldest peer-to-peer lender in the U.K., is working on a banking license that will allow it to manage customers’ deposits ahead of a potential initial public offering in early 2021, Janardana said.
Founded in 2005, the company is part of a wave of financial-technology companies that are challenging traditional lenders.
Regulators granted Zopa a provisional banking license in December, giving it a year to prove it can meet standards. The firm has lent more than 4 billion pounds and generated about 250 million pounds in interest for its investors since it started, according to its website.