LONDON — Peer-to-peer lender Zopa saw revenues leap 60% higher last year as losses narrowed.
The online lender’s revenue rose from £20.6 million in 2015 to £33.2 million last year, accounts filed with Companies House this week show. At the same time, losses narrowed from £8.8 million to £5.8 million.
While Zopa still booked a loss for the year, the accounts confirm that the company became profitable on an operating basis in the fourth quarter of 2016, as previously announced by CEO Jaidev Janardana.
Peer-to-peer lenders, also known as marketplace lenders, are online platforms that let people invest in individuals or companies by lending money to them directly.
Zopa, founded in 2005, lets people lend to consumers and is credited with inventing the peer-to-peer concept. Loan origination rose by 30% to £689 million in 2016, accounts show.
Headcount rose by 69% to 188 due to investment in tech, operations, risk, legal, and compliance. Staffing costs rose from £7.4 million to £11.8 million.
Zopa says in its accounts that this investment in staff is necessary to “ensure the company is both viable and sustainable as it moves towards its next stage of growth.” The company announced plans to launch a retail bank alongside its peer-to-peer lending operation last November.
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