The history of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is a story of the democratization of finance. P2P lending began in the mid-2000s, when Zopa, a British online lender, was one of the first to offer its services to the public in 2005. Soon after, the US-based companies LendingClub and Prosper began to offer similar platforms.
These companies were pioneers in leveraging the internet to create a large, convenient, and secure marketplace for people to lend and borrow money. By bypassing traditional banking and financial institutions, these P2P lending platforms enabled individuals to invest in loans and borrowers to access capital from various sources.
Since the mid-2000s, P2P lending has grown rapidly around the world. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, investors and borrowers alike sought alternative financing methods, with P2P lending providing an attractive solution. Low-interest rates, the inability of traditional institutions to meet market demand, and the need for more accessible financing have all driven the growth of P2P lending.
In the years after 2008, the industry has grown across Europe and beyond, with the emergence of large platforms such as Mintos, PeerBerry, and EstateGuru. Today, P2P lending is a well-established industry, with a variety of platforms providing a range of services to investors and borrowers.
The history of P2P lending is a story of collaboration and innovation, of providing a bridge between lenders and borrowers. It’s a story of how new technology has allowed people to access capital in a way that was never before possible.
It’s a story of how individuals have been empowered to make smarter financial decisions, and how the industry is continuing to evolve to meet the needs of both lenders and borrowers.
Today you will find more than 1,000 different P2P lending platforms in the world.
Timeline of the P2P lending history
- The first P2P lending platform called Zopa opened in 2005 and operated only in England.
- The concept became particularly popular after the financial crisis in 2008 when trust in banks was in a historic decline.
- Since then, the concept has only grown in popularity, and today there are plenty of platforms for P2P lending.