OakNorth valuation tops $2bn after latest fundraise

By Ryan Weeks on Thursday 6 September 2018

Editor's PickDigital Banking

The challenger bank first achieved ‘unicorn’ status less than a year ago.

Less than a year after first seeing its valuation top the billion dollar mark, challenger bank OakNorth’s valuation has more than doubled.

This morning, the firm announced that is has secured another $100m in venture funding. EDBI of Singapore and NIBC Bank have come on board as new backers, alongside existing investors Clermont Group, GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund) and Coltrane Asset Management.

The $100m investment was parted with for 4.3 per cent of the company, giving ACORN OakNorth Holdings (the group entity) a valuation of around $2.3bn.

On the surface, OakNorth is a straightforward savings and loans bank, specialising in secured loans of between £500k and £30m in size. But beneath the surface hums its 'ACORN machine', a technology underwriting system which the banks both uses itself and licenses to other banks and lenders around the world.

ACORN operates out of offices in New York and Singapore and will, according to the a statement from the firm, have over $5bn in assets under service by year end. NIBC Bank has now been revealed as its first client in the Netherlands.

Paulus de Wilt, CEO of NIBC Bank, said in a statement: “We are proud to be partnering with ACORN machine for our mid-market lending business. The platform will enhance our efficiency and insights with regards to credit analysis and monitoring, thus enabling us to even better serve our mid-market clients. This collaboration will strengthen NIBC’s tech-based approach and preparation for the future.”

Since the start of the year, OakNorth has doubled the size of its loanbook from $1.1bn to $2.2bn, and expects to lend a further $600m this year.

OakNorth first hit ‘unicorn’ status – denoting privately held tech companies with a valuation upwards of a billion dollars – in October 2017, when it raised around £250m.


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