Nordic challenger bank Lunar launches business bank accounts for SMEs and freelancers

Danish challenger bank Lunar today opens a new business bank and paid-for account catering for small businesses and freelancers and taps Nordea’s former head of startup and growth to spearhead the offering.

Lunar is a Danish challenger bank established in 2015 and on a mission to change banking for the better. Using its neat tools and sleek card, users can save, spend, invest, get loans and insurance under its roof. Earlier this year, they launched their offering for teenagers. So far, the fintech has won more than 175,000 users in the Nordics, offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo and has built its team to a comfortable +150 employees. In August 2019 it obtained a banking license and in April this year, during the pandemic lockdown, it raised an €20 million additional Series B funding, bringing the round as a whole to €46 million.

Today they are launching a business bank account, which include a paid-for business account. A Premium business tier will be added in the coming months.

In a comment founder and CEO Ken Villum Klausen said: “There is a huge appetite for business accounts, and our ambition is to move up in segments fast. Charging an annual fee will give us the opportunity to invest in more power features, explore own business loans and cater for larger companies as well.

The business product will be one of the big revenue streams in Lunar and we’ve given early access to 2,000 users and close to 90% has been monthly active users and willing to pay the subscription upfront.”

Lunar has staffed up for the new offering and hired Jacob Faber as Head of Lunar Business. He joins from Nordea Business banking where he served as Head of Startup and Growth. Lunar also made several new AML hires to cater for the new segment.

The Nordics has not seen the intense business banking competition known from larger markets. According to the European Commission’s SBA fact sheet there are 1.5 million SME’s across Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Jacob Faber, Head of Lunar Business, said: “Compared to the larger European economies it is a small market, but the Nordics is also one of the world’s most profitable banking markets. There are high entry barriers to get a business account like sign-up fees, 6-10 weeks approval time to get an account and high costs related to the small entrepreneur segment.

No doubt we will see more competition, but for now the defensive Nordic infrastructure requires a Business account that can be easily connected to the public payments setup. That’s why offering national accounts is inevitable to get a strong presence in the local markets.”

Lunar’s business account will initially launch in Denmark and thereafter be adapted to all Nordic markets.

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