The Amsterdam-based challenger bunq announced that British investor Pollen Street Capital is investing 193 million euros in the bank.
Founder and CEO Ali Niknam financed Bunq from his own resources. The IT entrepreneur gained a fortune from TransIP and put almost 100 million euros into the bank, which has only made losses so far.
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Part of the deal is that Bunq also acquires the private Irish lender Capitalflow Group for 141 million euros.
Niknam justified the financing round by saying that fintech was now in a phase in which growth and the rapid increase in the number of customers had become more important.
Most customers are currently from the Netherlands, but the German and French markets will be more relevant in the future.
With this investment, the Netherlands adds another company to the list of unicorns: fast-growing tech companies with a value of more than 1 billion dollars.
“Everything has a right time. In the beginning of Bunq, it was important to get a laser user focus in the company. Having to also focus on fundraises and the needs of investors distracts. Bunq now is mature enough to start scaling up significantly, so more capital is welcome,” Niknam said.
On the question ‘How many times did Niknam had to show investors the door’ Niknam replied: “In busy times several times a day and in quiet times once a week. That also makes sense. There are not many online banks in Europe, such as Monzo, Revolut, N26 and Bunq. Those other guys are huge [British Revolut has 15 million customers] and they’ve already raised capital. Investors would like to participate, and then Bunq is a logical choice. But the moment has to be right for both parties.”