Digital Banking Platform Starling Bank Raises $75 Million to Fuel Expansion

Leading digital banking platform Starling Bank has announced that it has raised a total of $75 million in new financing. Of the $75 million, $60 million comes from its Series C funding round headed by Merian Global Investors through Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, while the remaining $15 million was contributed by the platform's existing investor.

The digital banking platform company plans to use the additional capital to invest in its own pioneering SME and retail banking financial products as well as the banking services it provides in the United Kingdom. Starling Bank also plans to use the funds to speed up its global expansion with movement into Europe.

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These expansion plans follow up on Starling Bank's existing success in the UK. Since the platform's app was launched in May 2017, Starling Bank has amassed a customer base of about 460,000 personal current accounts as well as 30,000 SME accounts. According to the bank's own projections, the platform will reach one million customers by the end of the year.

The bank's Banking Services division, responsible for its proprietary and leading banking and payments infrastructure for third parties, now counts 20 institutional clients on its roster. The platform's Payment Services is seeing similar success, doubling its volume month to month. Likewise, the Starling Marketplace--marketed as Europe's first full integrated financial marketplace and providing its customers with access to third-party financial services--has reached 11 partners with additional partners in the pipeline.

Part of Starling Bank's success is rooted in its well-earned reputation as an innovator. The platform has introduced new products and features almost every month since launch. Its latest products include euro accounts that enable UK residents to receive, send and hold funds in euros for free.

Upon the announcement of its successful financing round, Starling Bank's founder and chief executive officer Anne Boden stated: "Building our platform and launching in the UK to provide genuine choice to retail, SME and Banking-as-a-Service customers was just the first step. Our ambition is to use our technology to build a next-generation global, digital banking platform, starting with our launch across Europe this year."

Merian Chrysalis' co-portfolio manager Nick Williamson supports Boden's vision, stating that "the Starling team has developed a highly impressive and efficient platform, which we believe positions it well to continue to take share in core banking markets...[we] look forward to supporting [Boden and her team] as they realize the full potential of the business."