Innovation That Matters

Like eBay for money — Update

Financial Services

British Zopa, the person-to-person money marketplace that we’ve featured in the past, is extending its geographical reach. While Zopa announced expansion to the US a while back and is operating a San Francisco office to prepare their stateside launch, a new country is being added to the roster via a different route. In Italy, Zopa’s technology and brand have been licensed to a local start-up. Milan-based P2P s.r.l. is currently recruiting (tech) team members and hasn’t yet announced a launch date, pending accreditation from the Italian banking authorities. The Italian franchise is headed up by Maurizio Pietro Sella, a former Citibank executive. Hey — franchising works well enough in the brick-and-mortar world, so it’s about time we see more of it online. It makes sense, especially when complex processes and strong branding are involved, speeding up international roll-out without the main entity having to shoulder the full costs. Same could be done with other online ventures we’ve covered, like uShip, Igglo, Zillow and ParkAtMyHouse. As for Zopa: US, UK and Italy down — that leaves dozens of ripe markets to go! Spotted by: Claus Lehmann



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