Paris-based challenger bank Qonto raises €104 million, the largest funding round for a French fintech

Qonto team

Qonto, the challenger neobank for SMEs and freelancers, announces it has successfully raised an additional €104 million in the largest funding round ever for a French fintech.

Qonto, founded in 2016, is a neobank for SMEs and freelancers. Since its public launch in July 2017, Qonto has made business banking easy for more than 65,000 companies. Thanks to Qonto, business owners save time (streamlined account opening, plus unlimited history, accounting exports, expense management feature), have more control while giving their teams autonomy (real-time notifications, user right management system) and have an improved visibility on cash-flows (smart dashboards, transactions auto-tagging, and cash-flow monitoring). They also enjoy responsive customer support, at a fair and transparent price.

Qonto was born out of the frustration of its two co-founders (Alexandre Prot and Steve Anavi), who previously co-founded a first company together. They were looking for a bank that would address their needs: transparency, great customer service, and connection to their day-to-day business management tools. For lack of finding such service, they started Qonto. The company currently employs more than 200 talents in Paris. Qonto is part of the French Tech 120 programme, and was ranked as the hottest startup in Paris by Wired. Qonto is a Tech 5 startup and one of the most attractive startups according to Linkedin. The team has overall raised €136 million from investors including Tencent, DST Global, Valar, Alven and the European Investment Bank.

The recent round was funded by new investors Tencent and DST Global, as well as existing investors Valar and VC Alven, plus two new business angels Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise’s co-founder/chairman) and Ingo Uytdehaage (CFO at Adyen).

This Series C funding will allow Qonto to extend its leading market position in France while accelerating growth in the three new markets launched in 2019: Italy, Spain and Germany. The team will grow from 200 to 300 within a year, and focus its efforts on strengthening the product according to local customer needs. Additionally, the funding will be a key support in Qonto’s ambition to attain its own credit institution licence by the end of the year and become a bank in order to offer new services to its customers.

“Qonto is reinventing business banking, addressing an under served SME and freelancer market. We’re happy to be backing Alexandre, Steve and their team in making banking smooth, fast, and efficient across Europe, and in turn letting small businesses focus on growing their businesses”, commented Danying Ma, Investment Director of Tencent.

“Qonto is using technology to change banking for small and medium size businesses from a source of friction to a source of competitive advantage,” said Tom Stafford, Managing Partner of DST Global. “We are delighted to support Alexandre, Steve, and the team at Qonto as they continue to build a European champion.”

“Being part of the adventure since the seed round in 2016, we are delighted to invest in this new round and help Qonto scale further. In the past three years, we’ve been continuously impressed by the ambition and the talent of the whole Qonto team. They have launched an outstanding service that offers a great user experience to business clients. We are proud to help them build the next European leader!” says James Fitzgerald, founding partner at Valar.