N26 got new money from the US and Singapore. The young company wants to expand into the USA.
N26 has received a large amount from international donors. The financing round brings the young company around 260 million euros, the Handelsblatt learned. According to the report, this is the largest amount ever received by a German financial startup.
Thus, the company rises to the first German fintech unicorn, companies that are valued at least one billion euros. The capital providers currently estimate the value at around 2.3 billion euros.
The most recent round of financing was led by the US venture capital fund Insight Venture Partners, which also includes the sovereign wealth fund GIC from Singapore, the Allianz insurance company and the German venture capitalist Earlybird Venture.
The financing was “the accolade for the German and European Fintechs,” said Earlybird co-founder Hendrik Brandis. The new financing round is also intended to pay for market entry into the USA. “The investors from previous rounds have all stuck with it, and many – like us – have subscribed more than their original share would have,” said Christian Nagel, Earlybird Partner and N26 Advisory Council member.
According to the consulting firm Barkow Consulting, the almost 800 German startups in 2018 have raised more than € 1 billion in risk capital. The number of customers of N26 had more than tripled in 2018.
Number of customers from 50 to 100 million worldwide
“We dare to make N26 a global brand,” said founder and CEO Valentin Stalf der Welt. The aim is for the next few years, a customer base of 50 to 100 million worldwide. This year, we want to double the number of customers from 2.3 million to at least five million. The bank is currently gaining more than 10,000 customers every day across Europe.
The growth of the coming years should also come from the USA. “So far, there’s no bank like ours, and we’re starting to build the market leader in mobile banking in the US,” said Stalf. In the first half of the year, N26 will gradually launch its offer there. After that, the company wants to target other countries. “Four to six other large markets are expected to follow in 2020 and 2021,” said Stalf, naming targets Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
When asked if the recent round of financing was the last before an IPO, Stalf did not commit himself. “An IPO may be an option in the future – but I can not say when and if it will come,” he said. The round brings N26 a lot of flexibility. “We are now in a position where we can freely decide when to go public, whether to collect money privately, or whether we will ever need external funding again, or whether we will be funded entirely from current revenues.”
Taking over is not an option. “We want to stay independent,” said Stalf. At least for a German bank N26 at the latest now anyway no takeover target. “We are simply too big for that.”