ZOPA’S latest funding round has boosted the value of Augmentum Fintech’s portfolio, helping the fintech investment fund report net asset value growth of 5.1 per cent in its maiden financial results.
UK-listed Augmentum Fintech unveiled its first financial results on Monday since launching in December 2017. It reported that a recent £60m private fundraise by Zopa had boosted the value of its stake in the lender by £3.5m to £22m.
Augmentum’s stake in Zopa currently makes up 40.8 per cent of its portfolio.
Augmentum Fintech was launched by Augmentum Capital, a venture capital (VC) firm backed by Lord Rothschild’s RIT Capital Partners. The VC firm already had a stake in Zopa, which transferred to the fund.
Tim Levene, chief executive of the investment trust’s manager Augmentum Fintech Management, said he believed gaining a banking licence was more of a priority for the platform than an initial public offering at the moment.
“Zopa has always been prudent, anyone can grow a lending business, it is about prudent criteria and risk management,” Levene told Peer2Peer Finance News.
“It has taken on a huge initiative to develop a bank, which can’t be underestimated.
“The demand is there and now the challenge in 2019 is to offer more compelling products that the customer base wants.
“This time next year we should see how that’s gone.”
The Augmentum Fintech fund reported net asset value growth of 5.1 per cent between launch in December 2017 and the end of September 2018.
Its return was boosted by the rising value of Zopa, as well as higher valuations of some of its other holdings such as online trading platform Interactive Investor – which was up £1.5m – and banking app Monese, which saw a £500,000 boost.
It made five new investments over the period, out of a longlist of 350, deploying £15m of the £94m that was raised at launch.
Levene said five other companies were currently being assessed for investment.
He added that the fund was not planning to invest in any other P2P lenders at the moment but would be open to doing so, if there were no conflict with its Zopa holding.
Read more: Zopa back in the black after “landmark” year
Analysts remain keen on the investment trust, which is now trading at a discount to NAV of 2.9 per cent.
“It is early days for Augmentum Fintech, but we believe it is an interesting vehicle with a unique mandate among the listed fund universe,” Numis said.
“The fund benefits from an experienced management team that appears to have a strong flow of fintech opportunities.”