Bunq founder hints at VC funding as reveals losses of around €11m in last financial year

By John Reynolds on Monday 7 October 2019

Digital Banking

Bunq is launching in the UK market as it looks to take on traditional banks.

Bunq founder hints at VC funding as reveals losses of around €11m in last financial year
Image source: Bunq founder.

Bunq, the Dutch app-only bank, has hinted that it could turn to venture capital funding in the future,  after revealing it lost around €11m (£9.8m) in its last financial year.

Bunq CEO Ali Niknam was speaking as Bunq launches into the UK market, arguing there are “too many traditional banks” in the UK.

Niknam is Bunq’s sole shareholder and the bank has hitherto avoided VC funding but the founder hinted this could change in the future.

Niknam told AltFi: “There might come a time we think it is in the benefit of our users and the benefit of the company. Frankly, I just need to pick up the phone because we get calls every day.

“We have chosen not to do so right from the start because to us it’s more important to have the space to create a product that people really love to use rather than rushing into the market.”

Niknam believes there is an appetite for another neo-bank in the UK.

He said: “I don’t see them [neo banks] as rivals. I see them as peers. To me, we are at the forefront of a new financial sector with new players, new offerings.”

He said Bunq will initially just run Euro accounts in the UK but could cement its proposition by offering Sterling accounts too in time.

Niknam also said he was currently comfortable with the level of "startup" losses, pointing out that Bunq was making money from user subscribers.

Bunq, which doesn't believe in free banking, is targetting an older userbase than many of its rivals, competing against traditional banks.

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