London-based digital banking app Starling Bank has raised €68 million in a Series C round led by Merian Global Investors, including the Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited. The startup received an additional €17 million from an existing investor, bringing the total raised in the round to €85.5 million. Starling has now raised a total of €167 million to date.
The scale-up will use the funding to invest in further innovation for its financial products in retail and SME banking, and to accelerate its expansion in Europe.
Since launching its app in May 2017, Starling has built up a customer base of 460,000 personal current accounts and 30,000 SME accounts. The bank expects to hit one million customers by the end of 2019. The bank’s features include current accounts, business banking, lending, money transfers, budgeting tools, and more.
“Financial services is a market undergoing considerable change, driven by technology and users’ desire for better and more convenient offerings,” said Nick Williamson, Merian Chrysalis co-portfolio manager. “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, as well as the ability to offer innovative new services in the future. We are delighted to be backing Anne and her team with this investment, and look forward to supporting them as they realise the full potential of the business.”
Starling’s Banking Services division, which makes the bank’s proprietary “Banking-as-a-Service” infrastructure available to third parties, has 20 institutional clients, including three new customers just this week. The Starling Marketplace, Europe’s first fully integrated financial marketplace, provides customers with access to third-party financial services and now has 11 partners, with many more in the pipeline.
Since it was founded in 2014 and received its banking licence in 2016, Starling has established itself as an innovator – launching new products and features almost every month. Its latest product is a euro account, which allows UK residents to hold, send and receive euros for free.
“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,” said Anne Boden, founder and chief executive of Starling Bank. “Our ambition is to use our technology to build a next-generation global, digital banking platform, starting with our launch across Europe this year.”