Peer-to-peer lending has grown into a multi-billion-pound industry, but where are its trailblazers now?
Peer2Peer Finance News has examined what happened to the founding teams of the UK’s largest P2P lending platforms.
Zopa was the world’s first P2P lender.
It was launched by a team from Egg Banking in 2005, aiming to create an eBay for money.
Its original founders were: Giles Andrews, Richard Duvall, James Alexander, David Nicholson and
Andrews is the only founding member that is still with the business. He was made chief executive in 2007, chairman in 2015 and retains influence as a senior board member.
Duvall sadly never got to see the dizzy heights that Zopa has risen to. He passed away in 2006 after a battle with cancer.
Alexander was chief executive until 2007 and his work now focuses on wildlife and environmental causes.
Nicholson left Zopa in 2007 and went on to found mobile payments fintech Yoyo Wallet, while Parlett was chief operating officer until 2008 and is now a consultant for start-ups.
The P2P business lender, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, was founded in 2010 by Samir Desai, Andrew Mullinger and James Meekings (pictured).
The three were friends at Oxford University and famously conceived the idea in a pub.
Of the trio, only Desai remains as chief executive of the group.
James Meekings stepped down as chief executive last year and was replaced by Lisa Jacobs.
Mullinger was responsible for risk management but stepped back in 2016, with Jerome De Luel now the platform’s chief risk officer.
He describes himself as semi-retired on Twitter.
RateSetter is credited with creating the P2P sector’s first provision fund.
The platform was launched in 2010 by investment banker Rhydian Lewis and lawyer-turned-banker Peter Behrens.
Both remain with the business to this day.
Lewis is chief executive and Behrens is chief commercial officer.
These are the longest running P2P lenders and all have at least one founder still involved, albeit at board level for Zopa now.
This suggests the passion that many of these early fintech trailblazers had when launching their ideas should still be running through the business and inspire others.