German online bank scores record funding

Fintech leader crosses the Atlantic

11 January 2019 | Ekonomie
German online bank N26 said yesterday it had raised US$300 million to fund its launch in the United States, which gives the firm a valuation of US$2.7 billion.

The fundraising round was the biggest ever for a German financial technology (fintech) firm, business daily Handelsblatt reported.

It also made N26 the nation's first fintech ‘unicorn’ a privately-owned technology firm worth more than US$1 billion. The cash infusion came in large part from US venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, the bank said in a statement.

With around 2.3 million customers in 24 European countries, N26 says its goal is to become "the first global mobile bank". It aims to launch mobile banking in the US "in the first half of 2019", with a long-term goal of more than 100 million customers worldwide, "in the coming years".

In its advertising, the online bank looks to set itself apart from Germany's staid traditional banking sector with its #nobullshit slogan and easy-to-use smartphone app - as well as issuing customers with instantly recognisable transparent plastic credit cards. -Nampa/AFP

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