German digital bank N26 has collected around 700 million euros from old and new donors, according to SPIEGEL information.
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According to additional information from financial circles, N26 would be now valued at around 8 billion euros.
This makes the smartphone bank the most valuable German FinTech ahead of the Trade Republic trading platform (4.4 billion euros) and more expensive than the 151-year-old Commerzbank.
N26 has been previously valued at 3.1 billion euros. However, the founders Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal had targeted a valuation of up to 9.3 billion euros in the new financing round.
A conflict with the Bafin unsettled the N26 investors. For more than two years now, the supervisory authority has criticized the bank’s deficits in the fight against fraud and money laundering (compliance).
N26 did not find a good balance between growth and compliance, two former managers of the bank told SPIEGEL.
Although management recognized that compliance problems could damage the reputation, “when it came to how to distribute financial and human resources, the focus was mostly on expansion.” Exponential growth also means that the number of fraudulent accounts grows exponentially.
N26 was already ordered to pay a fine of 4.25 million euros by the German financial regulator BaFin.
N26 stated that the reason for the fine was almost 50 late money laundering reports from 2019 and 2020. The fine has been paid and the measures required by the Bafin have been implemented.