UK-based online peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Zopa has raised an additional £16m ($20.9m) from investors ahead of its launch.

The new investment is an extension of the previously announced funding round in which the company raised £44m.

The new funding round takes the overall funding to £60m. The new funding, which includes contributions from existing and new investors, will be used to launch the bank.

Zopa also intends to use the money to strengthen its product portfolio by including savings accounts and overdraft alternatives.

Following the announcement, Reuters quoted Zopa chief executive Jaidev Janardana as saying: “This new funding takes us a step closer to realising our vision of being the best place for money in the UK.”

Zopa, which has been providing unsecured personal loans to customers since 2005, applied for a complete banking licence in 2016.

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The licence will enable the company to offer FSCS-protected savings accounts, and P2P investments (including IFISAs for investors).

It will also be able to provide car loans and credit card services to its customers.

Last year, Zopa also opened a new development centre in the Spanish city of Barcelona to support the launch of its bank.

In 2017, the company registered net profit of £1.5m, after reporting a loss of £5.8m a year earlier.

Zopa said that it will roll-out its bank soon.