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What UK FinTech can learn from Wonga’s demise


Dora Ziambra, chief commercial officer of Azimo, on what the UK’s FinTech community can learn from Wonga’s recent demise.

Wonga was the first consumer FinTech company, launched “before FinTech was FinTech”. It was among the first ones to successfully use technology to disrupt the cumbersome process of getting a loan and making it accessible to everyone. Yet, despite being a pioneer in FinTech, 12 years later, it will potentially be remembered as the villain of the industry. Whether the label is fair or not, there are key learnings from the Wonga story for the FinTech community as a whole.

Exponential growth = more responsibility

Wonga raised more than $150m in equity from well-respected investors, including the “smart money” VC firms of Affirm, Balderton, Dawn Capital, Oak. These savvy and established players were ahead of the curve in foreseeing the potential of using technology to disrupt the lending business. What they did not forsee, however, was how the meteoric growth in lending products instead created wider risks, both for individuals and for the wider financial system....