Zopa looking to mix in new circles

UK based Zopa is the financial equivalent of eBay. It puts borrowers and lenders directly in touch with one another.

Zopa has a very good management pedigree, it was setup by the team that setup Egg.

  • Richard Duvall. The Chief Executive Officer – led the team that created Egg; was its Launch Director then its first Chief Marketing Officer.
  • James Alexander. The Chief Financial Officer – last seen as Strategy Director of Egg during its move into profitability in the UK.
  • Karen Why. The Risk Director – Ex-Director of Consumer Risk at Abbey. 25 years experience in the credit industry.
  • Sarah Matthews. The Chief Marketing Officer – was Egg Brand Development Director.
  • Dave Nicholson. Inventor of the whole shebang and our Business Architect – beforehand Egg’s Group Strategy Manager.

Zopa was launched in March 2005, and has approximately 90,000 members. Sixty-three per cent are borrowers and 37 per cent lenders, with about 50 per cent of active lenders having already added to their original lending outlay. Zopa is coy about providing specific lending figures but insists that millions of pounds have been transacted since the launch, involving thousands of lenders and borrowers, and that more than 5,000 new members are being signed up each month.” – Pamela Atherton, Telegraph

Richard Duvall, taken in the Telegraph

What’s new:

But it seems during this hot summer whilst having a pint of cider or three on a sunny evening, Zopa’s executives were hatching a plan to increase the awareness of Zopa. At some pint during the evening one executive mentioned “how uncanny it was that the Zopa logo looked a bit like a crop circle? And surely it shouldn’t be too difficult to persuade a friendly farmer to lend them a field, as well as getting a photographer and a local pilot to capture the moment“. Strong stuff that cider. ;-)

So some weeks later on a cold, wet muddy field in Cradley near the borders of Wales, with Paddy (the friendly farmer) and the guys from circlemakers.org, the zopa executives began treading out a 200 ft version of their logo in a field of oats. Here’s the video they put together, culminating in a shot of the logo from the air. Not bad!? So taken were they by creating the zopa logo that they had a few more cider pints after that decided to create “a bit of a competition“.

So if you have seen something that looks like the Zopa logo anywhere? Take a snap of it and send it to Zopa and they’ll pull together a gallery of the best responses. I’m not sure what the prize is for the best zopa-a-like logo, hopefully more than a pint of cider and weekend in Cradley with Paddy!

Since starting TechCrunch UK, one trend I have noticed is the development of more and more UK based auction sites such as Viagogo(tickets), AutoQuake(Cars) as well as online housing aggregators. Zoomf, OnOneMap, Nestoria, Extate etc. I wonder how long it will be before there is a housing auction site – if there isn’t one already? i.e people list their house up for sale and people bid against others to bid to it.