Doubling volumes every year, Zopa rocks!
Speaker: Giles Andrews, Chief Executive, Zopa
Giles Andrews, Chief Executive, Zopa
Zopa first presented to the Financial Services Club a week before they launched in March 2005. The business idea was to create an eBay style lending platform, where those with money could lend to those who needed it in a social networking system. Two years later, they found copies of their business idea sprouting up all around the world, and social lending was on everyone’s radar. Since then, the road has stumbled a little, with governments and authorities forcing some of these new business structures to operate with lending licences, even though these websites do no lending themselves. On the other hand, the credit crisis has provided some assist, with Zopa UK’s numbers shifting from £15 million of lending in 2008 to £35 million in 2009 to £75 million this year. How is the world changing as the mixture of social lending and a credit squeeze create a perfect storm towards new business models for the future? In a welcome return to the Club, Giles Andrews provides us with his view.
Giles spent the first ten years of his career in the motor industry pursuing his interest in all things automotive. This included co-founding Caverdale in 1992, a start-up taken to a £250m turnover and renamed Godfrey Davis Motor Group. He then set up his own consultancy business whose clients included Tesco and Tesco Personal Finance. Giles co-founded Zopa in 2005, led four fundraisings as CFO and then led the UK business as MD before taking over as CEO in 2009.