N26 valued at $3.5bn after new investment

By Roger Baird on 18th July 2019

Challenger Banks

The Berlin-based digital bank said it will use the cash to push into new markets, develop new products and add staff.

N26 valued at $3.5bn after new investment
Image source: Company supplied

N26 has raised new funds from investors giving it a valuation of $3.5bn, making the German digital bank one of Europe’s most valuable fintech start ups.

The Berlin-based bank extended its Series D funding, raising an extra $170m capping this current cash call at $470m.

All the previous investors who took part in the January round extended their backing, including Insight Venture Partners, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and billionaire Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, said the fintech. 

The bank’s new standing matches fintech payment firms Klarna Bank from Sweden and British-based TransferWise, which each claim $3.5bn valuations. 

 

New markets

N26, which launched in 2015 by Maximilian Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf (pictured, left to right) and has 3.5 million customers in 24 markets, said it would use the cash to break into new markets, develop new products and add staff.

The firm began trading in the US earlier this month, and added that it would use the extra cash “to drive expansion in Europe, the US, and Brazil”. The business plans a Brazil launch in 2020. 

It said it would launch a range of new features later this year, such as Shared Spaces, which allows customers to create sub-accounts shared with up to ten others. These accounts can then be used to split bills, or save for group holidays.

The bank, which has tripled in size to more than 1,300 employees in the last year, said it will continue to add staff. It is currently hiring in Berlin, New York, Barcelona, Vienna and São Paulo. 

N26 co-founder Maximilian Tayenthal said: “Once again, our investors have placed their trust in us. This will allow us to accelerate our global expansion. The further increase in valuation is a great testament to the company’s development over the last months.”

 

Banking on change

The digital bank has raised more than $670m from investors since it was founded.

Valar Ventures general partner James Fitzgerald said: “The notion that the best consumer startups are all born in Silicon Valley is increasingly outdated. N26 is a prime example of digital innovation moving in the opposite direction, from Europe to the US and beyond. We see customers all around the world waiting for banking to change and are thankful to support N26 on their journey to transform retail banking globally." 

N26, like most fintechs, is loss-making, but they have attracted billions from investors who are betting they will disrupt the financial services industry in the same way that Google and Facebook have changed a host of other industries including advertising, television, publishing and data collection. 

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