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Neobank Zopa raises $92 million without SoftBank

Illustration of a digitized bank building with arms shrugging.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Where art thou, SoftBank?

Zoom in: Zopa, a U.K.-based lender and neobank, announced today that it has raised $92 million in funding from a host of existing investors — with one notable exception.

Why it matters: SoftBank led Zopa's $300 million round in October 2021, valuing the business at $1 billion. Its absence from this follow-up round highlights the extent of the investment giant's pullback from the market.

Zoom out: Amid pressure from its established investors, SoftBank has reined in its venture bets. It participated in just eight rounds of funding in the fourth quarter, despite making as many as 90 bets in a single quarter in 2021, according to Bloomberg.

  • The move follows a series of massive losses from major bets that SoftBank placed on companies including DoorDash, Coupang and WeWork.

Details: IAG Silverstripe led the Zopa round with participation from Augmentum Fintech and Davidson Kempner Capital Management. 

  • Zopa says the funding will go toward funding M&A opportunities.
  • Founded in 2005, Zopa has raised roughly $698 million over its lifetime, according to a spokesperson.
  • The spokesperson tells Lucinda that the new funding round "enhances" the neobank's unicorn status — but would not disclose the exact figure.

What we're watching: When SoftBank, one of the world's largest and most influential tech investors, will have the gumption to get back into funding rounds. (A spokesperson did not immediately respond.)

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