N26 counts the high cost of 2019 global expansion as losses top €165m

By Oliver Smith on Monday 1 February 2021

Digital Banking

An aborted UK launch cost the bank €26.9m.

N26 counts the high cost of 2019 global expansion as losses top €165m
Image source: Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal/N26.

Building a global digital bank is not cheap, as N26 found out in 2019 and 2020 as net losses reached a whopping €165m and €110m respectively.

N26 attributed some €26.9m of that 2019 loss to its aborted UK launch, a project that was scrapped after just 18 months and blamed on Brexit.

The bank’s US launch also contributed to €25m in 2019 losses, although that project has been more successful and has led to N26’s entry in Brazil.

On the revenue front, N26 generated €100m in 2019 and of that €47.5m came from subscriptions and payment transaction services.

N26 did not reveal its 2020 revenue figure, but stated that operational efficiencies had led to its 33 per cent reduction in 2020 losses.

N26 published these figures in a press release, and the company said they were issued to “give more transparency” to the business.

While co-CEOs Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal wrote in the results that the focus now would be about “working towards profitable growth” and they also noted last week to support their now 7m customers globally over 200 new roles would be created in 2021.

Stalf told Reuters in December that N26 aimed to reach break-even by the end of 2021, with one final funding round planned before going public in 2023 at the earliest.

Last May N26 raised $100m as an add-on to its earlier $470m Series D—a round that started back in 2019 and closed at $570m.

Last month N26 had an executive shake-up, with Tayenthal joining long-serving boss Valentin Stalf as co-CEO and Dr Jan Kemper being hired to replace Tayenthal as CFO.

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