N26 hits $2.7bn valuation as it prepares for US push

By Roger Baird on Thursday 10 January 2019

Digital Banking

The German start-up becomes one of Europe’s biggest fintech firms after latest funding round.

Berlin-based app-only bank N26 has secured $300m of funding, which it will use to spearhead its US launch later this year. The move values the firm at $2.7bn, making it one of Europe’s most valuable financial technology start-ups.

The series D funding was led by New York-based venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC.

The tech firm, founded in 2013, has launched in 24 European markets and has more than tripled in size over the last 12 months to more than 2.3 million customers.

The business said it would use the cash “to drive global expansion, starting with the US launch of its mobile banking product in the first half of 2019”.

It added that its target was to attract over 100 million global customers “in the coming years”.

N26, named after its original address, is one of a raft of digital banks to launch in recent years, alongside Revolut and Monzo in the UK.

The firm’s services include fee-free current accounts, overdrafts and consumer loans across a number of European markets. It launched in the UK last October.

N26 chief executive Valentin Stalf said: “Around the world, millions of people still suffer from bad banking experiences and high fees.”

He added the new funding would allow it to “disrupt one of the largest industries in the world”.

Insight Venture Partners principal Harley Miller said: “It’s increasingly rare these days to come across such a massive industry which hasn’t experienced disruption by technology.

N26 is the clear market leader in the European mobile banking industry; the company is ideally positioned to expand to the US market this year, and build a formidable global digital consumer brand.”   

The start-up has a number of heavyweight backers such as CK Hutchison Holdings founder Li Ka-shing, one of Asia’s richest men, and Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook.

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