Once upon a time: N26 wanted to buy Bitpanda

By Amelia Isaacs on Monday 10 October 2022

Digital BankingCrypto

Back in 2020 before Bitpanda hit a $4.1bn valuation, N26 had its eyes on the fintech, Finance Forward exclusively revealed.

Once upon a time: N26 wanted to buy Bitpanda
Image source: Maximilian Tayenthal & Valentin Stalf/N26.

Way back before Bitpanda exploded into the fintech unicorn it is today, Berlin-based neobank N26 had its eyes on the crypto company.

Around two years ago, shortly following the start of Covid, there were initial talks between N26 and the Viennese crypto startup about a takeover, Finance Forward has exclusively revealed.

According to insiders, the deal was quickly set aside, but at one point in their discussions of working on a crypto feature, the N26 founders set their sights on what was then a small crypto start-up.

After a long time spent opposed to setting up a crypto feature for N26, founders Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal seemed to have a change of heart.

It was a perhaps clear place to look for the neobank, which shares investors with Bitpanda.

After a few years of self-financing, Bitpanda decided to look to raise in 2020, and last August it raised a huge Series C round of $263m to hit a valuation of $4.1bn.

The round took place just four months after it raised cash in March 2021 at a $1.2bn valuation and saw participation from Peter Thiels Valar Ventures.

Even before the injection of funding though, Bitpanda was generating sales of more than €50m, with an operating profit of €12m. 

This was purportedly when the neobank looked at taking over the Viennese startup.

Valar Ventures has long been among the top investors at N26 and joined Bitpanda in September 2020, along with Hedosophia.

The first discussions are reported to have taken place in the summer or autumn of 2020 in early stages, and to have been quickly dropped because Bitpanda wanted to continue to grow independently.

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