Zopa to launch in Japan


Social lending site Zopa is to launch in Japan, following its expansion to the US and Italy from its UK base. The site, three years old today, has attracted around £18 million of funding, including that from Benchmark Capital, which has also invested in US competitor Prosper. Zopa is an online marketplace where people meet to lend and borrow money. With no bank in the middle, both parties can potentially get better rates. Since March of 2005, Zopa has handled more than £20m in unsecured personal loans in the UK. However, although Zopa was the first, there are now more than 20 person-to-person online social lenders around the globe. GlobalFunder is a yet-to-launch competitor. Gartner predicts that by 2010 social banking will make up 10% of the banking market.

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