In subways and on billboards N26 advertises just offensively for its direct bank offer. Apparently, the banking startup from Berlin has grown so fast that its own marketing department with the comma did not come after. In his ads, it promises “no hidden fees” and “#nobullshit”. Now N26 has collected 260 million euros in a huge round of financing and is thus – as the first German fintech – a company with billions of dollars. It’s a message that the Fintech location can look forward to.
N26 is not the only startup in which investors put their hopes
Investments in German fintechs exceeded the billion mark for the first time in 2018: a total of 1.1 billion euros – 55 percent more than in the previous year. However, Barkow also included Proptech companies like Hometogo in its evaluation. Although the calculated number of auditors of Ernst & Young on the financing volume, at just under 660 fintech million euros for the year 2018, is much more conservative, it is still considerable. Of that fell on N26 whopping 130 million euros, including Allianz and the Chinese digital group Tencent.
The largest competitors of the digital direct bank come from the United Kingdom and are called Revolut (company valuation: the equivalent of 1.5 billion euros) and Monzo (company valuation: the equivalent of 1.3 billion euros). In Germany, there is no significant startup competition to N26. Young companies in other areas, such as interest rate comparisons or online asset management, are also financially well positioned.
These are the main fintech candidates for future, large-scale financing:
The Berlin-based Solarisbank (owned by Finleap) collected a total of EUR 57 million in 2018 from investors such as Visa and the Lakestar fund. Significantly less than N26, which received 130 million euros in the same year. But the Solarisbank is a major player in the fintech scene: it has a banking license and cooperates with many smaller startups, including Penta or Kontist, thus allowing them financial transactions. Investigations by Finanz-Szene.de showed last August, however, that the business figures of Solarisbank in 2017 compared to the big goals of the company due to low turnover and a high net loss rather disappointed.
Deposit Solutions, operator of the open-banking platform Zinspilot, got last year converted € 86 million from lenders. In 2018, the Hamburgers cut the largest fintech financing for N26. This results in a rating of more than 400 million euros. The road is not too far to the billion mark.
The largest competitor of Deposit Solutions is the deposit broker Raisin, which owns the platform Weltsparen. Although the last round of financing by the Berlin-based fintech is more than a year ago, the investor was none other than the US payment giant Paypal. At the end of 2017, he invested a double-digit million amount. Previously, Raisin had gained access to the British market through the acquisition of a UK technology service provider.
For the Berlin-based company builder Finleap, 2018 was the third year in a row with a big financial news: The Chinese insurance group Ping An invested in November 41.5 million euros in the company. In 2017, Finleap had collected 39 million euros, compared to 21 million the year before. The startup uses the money collected to build its own Fintechs, including the Solarisbank. In addition, Finleap brought 15 other companies on the way.
The Berlin consumer loan portal Smava completed in early 2018 a round of financing for 56 million euros. Competitor Finanzcheck was sold in 2018 – for 285 million euros to Scout24. Smava has always fought bitterly with Check24 in the past. For both customers advertised about with “zero percent” or “minus loans”.
Behind the online asset manager Scalable Capital is a good year: The startup announced in May, for the first time to manage more than one billion euros in customer funds. Scalable is the market leader among Robo-Advisor companies. An important distribution partnership has also contributed to the strong growth of the company: Scalable has been cooperating with the direct bank ING-Diba since autumn 2017. The deal helped the startup to attract more customers and thus to a higher amount of assets under management. Sobering was the verdict of Stiftung Warentest on Scalable last summer. The service received the grade 3,4. The testers had criticized about what they saw as a lack of diversification of the portfolio. Scalable’s competitors include Whitebox or Quirion. The last time Scalable collected in mid-2017 a total of 30 million euros at a Post-Mony rating of over 150 million euros.
One of the donors: the trillion-dollar US asset manager Blackrock. Another promising digital asset manager is Liqid. Fintech completed a financing round of € 33 million last autumn, managing assets of € 300 million at the time. A number that is quite impressive – after all, Liqid does not work with a big partner like the ING-Diba.
With a former bearer of hope, it fights violently. Last year, the Hamburg loan startup Kreditech made first with high losses of talk. At the end of December it came out that investors rated the company in 2017 with 230 million euros, but its rating has now imploded to 14 million euros. The ambitions of Kreditech are still great: By 2025, the startup wants to make a turnover of one billion euros and 2021 go public. At the present time, however, it is questionable whether the fintech high-flyer N26 can ever reach the water again.
Also published on Medium.