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Turkish neobank Papara becomes latest unicorn following acquisition of Spain’s Rebellion

Papara has purchased Rebellion from Beka Finance, the Spanish financial services company, as it looks to gain a foothold in the digitally thriving Spanish market.

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Turkish neobank Papara has snapped up Spanish challenger bank Rebellion, in a move which propels Papara to unicorn status.

Papara has purchased Rebellion from Beka Finance, the Spanish financial services company.

The Turkish neobank said the “multi-million dollar cash and stock” acquisition means its valuation has propelled to more than $1bn, making it a unicorn.

Papara, founded in 2016, is based in Istanbul.

It has more than 16 million customers and offers a range of financial services including bill payments, money transfers, cards, and budgeting features through a mobile app.

The acquisition of Rebellion marks Papara’s first-ever acquisition, domestic or international.

Financial app Rebellion, which has received €15m funding to date, offers similar services to Papara, including money transfers and prepaid cards.

Papara is looking to make a push in Spain, where it says digital innovation is thriving and will rebrand Rebellion as Papara Spain.

Papara Spain employees will report into Papara CEO Emre Kenci.

Commenting on the acquisition, Papara’s founder and chairman, Ahmed Karslı, said: "The business and team stood out to us for a number of reasons, primarily its unrivalled local market knowledge, best-in-class products and, most importantly, alignment of goals to our own."

Rebellion co-founder Sergio Cerro said: "This acquisition presents an exceptional opportunity to propel a project that aligns seamlessly with the Spanish neobanking market.

“Given the absence of a dominant player in the Spanish sector, and considering the prevailing economic landscape, I strongly believe that Papara is the ideal partner to synergistically blend resources, business vision, and ambition."

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