Zopa

Product: Zopa

People behind it:
Name: Giles Andrews and the Zopa launch team

Giles Andrews is chief finance officer and UK managing director of social lending site www.zopa.com. He became involved when he was asked to help the original team – James Alexander, ex-strategy director at Egg, who he met at the INSEAD business school; Richard Duval, Egg’s co-founder and launch director, who died in 2006; and Dave Nicholson, Egg’s strategy manager – turn an idea into a reality and raise capital. Before Zopa, Andrews co-founded Godfrey Davis car dealerships.

How innovative?
In effect, Zopa is an eBay for personal loans, marrying social networking principles with financial services. Individuals looking for a loan post details of the amount, reason and the interest they are prepared to pay; lenders, all individuals, look at information on the potential borrowers, including a credit rating system, and decide whether to lend to them. It mirrors the bond markets for major institutions, but aimed at individuals.

Market success
So far, around £25m has been lent by around 10,000 people to around 6,000 borrowers, but around 200,000 have signed up for Zopa’s e-mail newsletter and other communications. The real marketing point of the Zopa system is that it cuts out the banks and financial services companies and puts individuals far more in control of their financial dealings. Lenders and borrowers are both getting better rates than they would from traditional banks.

How it fits
Zopa is a perfect example of using Web 2.0 not just as a technical platform, but also as a philosophical one. Just as eBay allows buyers and sellers to contact each other and come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement without any real interference from eBay’s staff, Zopa lets borrowers and lenders do the same. Exposure to risk is minimised by the use of social networking tools such as feedback and credit ratings.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here