Another Amsterdam unicorn! Challenger bank bunq raises €193M at a €1.6B valuation

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Last month, we reported about bunq securing a €150M+ funding from a British private equity firm. Today, the Amsterdam-based challenger bank has officially confirmed the news. 

Raised €193M

After several years of self-funding, bunq has raised €193M in a funding round led by Pollen Street Capital, at a valuation of €1.6B. Ali Niknam, bunq founder, also participated in the investment round. Notably, this is the largest series A investment round ever secured by a European fintech.

With the first external capital now raised, the challenger bank will incorporate M&A as a business growth strategy. The investment round is pending regulatory approval by De Nederlandsche Bank. 

“bunq was founded to challenge what banking is and can do. By putting our users first we have created a bank that is super focused to make life easy in a sustainable way. We’re extremely excited to join forces with Pollen Street Capital to further expand the bank of The Free throughout Europe”, says Ali Niknam, founder and CEO of bunq.

Acquires 10 per cent stake in bunq 

Pollen Street Capital is an independent alternative investment management company, focused on accelerating the progress of the financial and business services sectors. 

Founded in 2013 by Lindsey McMurray, Pollen Steet Capital now operates across private equity and credit strategies on behalf of investors, which include, major pension funds, asset managers, banks, and family offices from across the globe. 

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According to Reuters, with this funding, the British equity firm has acquired a 10 per cent stake in bunq. 

“Combining the SME lending expertise of Capitalflow, the digital execution capability of bunq and the ‘customers first’ approach of both Capitalflow and bunq creates a really exciting, high growth and self-sustaining platform with a pan-European reach that will mark a new standard in European digital banking,” says James Scott, Partner of Pollen Street Capital.

Acquires Capitalflow Group

As a part of the deal, the company also announced the acquisition of Capitalflow Group, a privately held Irish lending company with strong ties to the Irish community. It’s worth noting, Capitalflow Group was previously owned by Pollen Street Capital. Reportedly, bunq has acquired the Irish company for nearly €141M. 

Based out of Dublin, Capitalflow Group is a digital specialist business lender. The company provides flexible finance options to companies looking to grow and scale their business. Since its inception, the company has advanced over €650M in facilities to a broad range of SMEs across all sectors. 

Profit, investment, and more

Bunq says it has recorded its first-ever profitable month of business and expected to break even on a monthly basis before this year-end.

Founded in 2012, Ali Nikam has invested €98.7M of his capital into his venture. Notably, the Dutch fintech company is the only self-funded challenger bank that branched into 30 European markets without a penny of VC funds. 

Last month, the company expanded its operation into France with French IBAN, followed by Germany. The challenger bank passed the €1B in user deposits earlier this year. 

In April this year, bunq joined TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) service to offer instant payments across Europe. Notably, it is the first challenger bank to do so. 

This gives bunq users instant payments with participating banks in its home country of the Netherlands, as well as the rest of Europe.

bunq is currently available in 30 European markets: the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Iceland.

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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