Challenger bank raises€193 million at a €1.6 billion valuation
- In a deal with British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital, European challenger bank bunq has raised €193 million, as the company’s valuation soars to €6 billion.
- The investment marks the largest series A round ever raised by a European fintech.
- bunq’s sustainable growth strategy officially paid off as the fintech reports its first-ever profitable month. The company expects to break even on a monthly basis in 2021.
Amsterdam, July 8th 2021 – bunq announced that it has raised €193 million at a €1.6 billion valuation. Pollen Street Capital and Ali Niknam, founder of bunq, joined the largest series A round ever secured by a European fintech. As part of the deal bunq acquired Capitalflow Group, a privately held Irish lending company with strong ties to the Irish community. In addition to the investment round, bunq reported today that it has hit profitability, after being the first company to ever introduce a transparent subscription-based business model in the financial sector.
The investment round marks a new phase in bunq’s sustainable growth strategy. The company, founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Ali Niknam who invested €98.7 million of his own capital into bunq, is the only self-funded challenger bank that branched into 30 European markets without a penny of VC funds. This allowed the company to always keep the freedom and independence to build a bank rooted in the wants and needs of its users. With first external capital now raised, bunq will incorporate M&A as a business growth strategy: in a bold move, bunq acquires Capitalflow Group, a specialist lending business with deep ties in the Irish business community.
“bunq was founded to challenge what banking is and can do. By putting our users first we have created a bank that is super focussed 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.
“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.
During the last year, a challenging year for many, bunq has shown great resilience and resistance as it continued its explosive growth. Doubling its user deposits for the third time in a row, the challenger bank passed the €1 billion in user deposits earlier this year.
*The investment round is pending regulatory approval by De Nederlandsche Bank.
bunq was founded in 2012 by Ali Niknam (1981), who managed to get the first European banking permit in over 35 years. He set out to radically change the traditional banking industry and, as its sole investor, invested €98.7 m in bunq. bunq’s latest publicly available number of user deposits reached €1 billion, based on the deposits in April 2021. The total amount of user deposits has doubled both in 2019 and 2020 and is increasing every day.
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.
In 2021 bunq secured the largest series A round ever raised by a European fintech. In a deal with British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital. The challenger raised €193 million, as the company’s valuation soared to €1.6 billion. Additionally, bunq reported its first-ever profitable month. The first external capital it now raised, will enable bunq to further expand through Europe and to continue to incorporate M&A as a business growth strategy. As part of the deal, bunq acquired Capitalflow Group, a privately held Irish Lending company with deep ties with the Irish community.
About Pollen Street Capital
Pollen Street Capital is an independent alternative investment management company, focused on accelerating the progress of the financial and business services sectors. It was established in 2013 and operates across private equity and credit strategies on behalf of investors including leading pension funds, asset managers, banks, and family offices from around the world. Pollen Street has a team of 75+ professionals with offices in London and New York City.
In financial and business services, technological innovation and changing consumer behaviours are creating opportunities to build specialist businesses that serve well-defined target markets. Pollen Street Capital uses its deep experience to help its partner companies take advantage of these opportunities and build high growth, sustainable businesses that deliver a compelling proposition to their customers within carefully selected markets.
About Capitalflow Group
Established in 2016 and led by Ronan Horgan, Capitalflow is Ireland’s fastest growing digital Business specialist lender. Partnering with Irish SMEs and Property Investors, Capitalflow provides flexible finance options through its technology platform to companies looking to grow and scale their business. Headquartered in Dublin, with offices in Santry and Baggot Street, the company employs 60 experienced decision makers and it has advanced over €650 million in facilities to a broad range of SMEs across all sectors since formation.