German fintech firm N26 has announced that it raised $300 million in its most recent round of funding, placing the mobile bank’s valuation at $2.7 billion. With this valuation, N26 joins the roster of European unicorns, or privately-held start-ups with values greater than $1 billion, as the seventh largest privately-held European company. N26 plans to use these newly-raised funds to spur world-wide expansion into the United States and other global markets.
The Berlin-based mobile bank is one of a number of emerging digital banking providers looking to capture some of the customer base of traditional lenders. N26 offers its 2 million users banking services via its mobile app and debit card, but the mobile bank lacks even a single brick-and-mortar bank branch.
After expanding into the United Kingdom in October 2018, N26’s mobile banking app is now available to consumers in 24 European countries. The German mobile bank has significant plans to expand their reach further. N26 Chief Executive Officer Valentin Stalf recently confirmed plans for a U.S. launch by the end of the second quarter of 2019. Stalf expects to hit the 10 million customer mark “within the next couple of years,” noting that the recent round of funding was aimed at stimulating global expansion: “We would like the business to grow to four to six more markets other than the U.S. and Europe.” After the United States, Latin America is the most likely next target, though Stalf wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of an Asian launch.
N26’s most recent round of funding was conducted by U.S. private equity firm Insight Venture Partners. Additional backing was provided by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIB, Chinese tech firm Tencent, German insurance company Allianz and Valar Ventures, Peter Thiel’s venture capital fund. The German fintech firm has now reached over $500 million in total funding since its founding in 2013. However, there are no immediate plans to go public. While Stalf has stated that going public is a “dream” for N26’s co-founders, it’s “not the only option” for the mobile bank thanks to the recent round of funding that has left them “very flexible.”