At the beginning of November, the digital bank N26 informed in a press release about “the forthcoming conversion of the legal form from a German GmbH to a German stock corporation (AG)”.
The members of the future supervisory board have already been appointed: Marcus W. Mosen, Jörg Gerbig, Dr. Barbara Roth, Dr. Julian Deutz and Dr. Robert Kilian form the control body.
This step would “create the necessary conditions to be able to carry out the conversion into a European company (Societas Europaea, SE) in the future,” it said.
At the same time, however, the conversion into an AG can also be seen as preparation for a possible IPO of N26, especially since it is explicitly mentioned that it is also being undertaken to advance the corporate strategy – and the two founders Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal had already hinted in the past that an IPO was definitely part of this strategy.
Co-founder Valentin Stalf recently confirmed this in an interview with “WELT”, but also remained cautious. “We have always said that we want to further professionalize the company, also with a view to a possible IPO. Of course, this transformation [conversion to an AG, editor’s note] is a step towards it. However, it needs to be done – also with a view to the difficult stock market environment – there will certainly be a few more years before we eventually go public. We can’t give a specific date,” says Stalf. In general, however, it is only a good time for an IPO when profitability is within reach, according to the N26 CEO.
At the moment, however, the smartphone bank still has a long way to go before it becomes profitable. In the 2021 financial year, N26 was able to increase sales by more than 50 percent to 182.4 million euros, but the loss still increased to 172.4 million euros . According to the startup, high marketing expenses, expenses for the failed market launch in the USA and other, unspecified costs were to blame.
For the coming years, Stalf was nevertheless confident within the framework of the figures: “We are pursuing the goal of going towards profitability in the coming years,” said the co-founder, according to dpa-AFX. In 2022, for example, they want to increase revenues by around 30 percent.