Shaper: Rhydian Lewis

Show aired on 18th July 2015


Rhydian Lewis is CEO and co-founder of RateSetter, the UK’s leading peer-to-peer lending platform. RateSetter launched in 2010 and the platform has originated loans worth over £600m to date – it is the largest platform in terms of monthly lending volumes. RateSetter was the first peer-to-peer lender to introduce a provision fund, which absorbs credit exposure and effectively spreads investors’ risk across the whole loan portfolio as opposed to individual loans. The provision fund reduces the risk of loss so well that no individual RateSetter lender has ever lost a penny.

Prior to founding RateSetter, Rhydian spent six years at investment management firm Lazard, and before that, he worked at Betfair, the world’s largest internet betting exchange.

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It wasn’t that long ago that people were still worried about the safety of buying a book on Amazon.

I was so determined to do it that I think there was no way around it.

There’s a company called Betfair which has changed betting, which is a peer-to-peer exchange. So I’d always wondered if it could be applied to money.

The catalyst was the banking crisis. You have, for the first time, a major shake-up of consumer trust in the old establishment, so it seemed a fantastic opportunity to put forward something new.

Some people are born entrepreneurs and can turn their hand to anything and some people just see a big opportunity and have the guts to go for it.

You have to believe because it’s all about getting other people to believe. If you falter for one moment, then you can be sure that everyone else will.

Having a co-founder is absolutely crucial – you can share a lot of the burden and make better decisions by talking to each other.

There’s nothing worse than indecision in a business, it saps people’s confidence and enthusiasm.

Peer-to-peer lending is probably the biggest change in lending and borrowing for hundreds of years, so it’s very exciting.

I think you can over-engineer a lot of things: I’m a perfectionist, but with certain things I realise just as long as it works, that’s fine.