Three UK fintechs raise over $100m in funding this month
Three of the UK’s major fintech start-up players – Starling Bank, Curve and GoCardless – are all raising rounds in excess of $100 million this month.
Starling has eye on IPO
Starling Bank is raising the most, at £200 million ($263 million). According to an exclusive TechCrunch report, the challenger bank has hired independent financial advisory group Rothschild.
The draw for private equity investors – which TechCrunch says are already showing interest – is Starling’s projected roadmap to profitability.
It beats Checkout.com’s $150 million raise in June, which marked one of the largest European fintech raises during COVID-19. But it still sits in the shadow of Swedish unicorn Klarna, which raised $650 million in September.
Still claiming to be on track for profitability by Christmas, Starling has raised roughly £363 million to date.
It has some 1.9 million customers – 280,000 of which are business accounts held by sole traders and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Anne Boden, Starling founder and CEO, tells TechCrunch: “I’ve got my sights on an IPO. I’d very much like to do that”.
Starling has grown considerably over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first five weeks of the government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the challenger lent out in excess of £500 million.
Curve not quite a unicorn material
Another UK fintech, Curve, the start-up which consolidates different cards into one, is raising a lesser $100 million (£76 million).
Sky confirmed Curve is likely to close this round, led by existing shareholder IDC Ventures, at the end of the month. But Sifted was first to report the planned fundraise back in August, estimating the round would be a larger £100 million to £120 million.
According to Sifted sources, Curve’s fundraise is not expected to give it a unicorn valuation. That is, a value in excess of $1 billion.
This is likely true, as Curve raised its Series B in July 2019 at a valuation of just $250 million.
The sources said in August that Curve will use the funding for international expansion. The start-up is currently rolling out its services in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
It has also opened an office in the US but is yet to launch for US customers.
GoCardless even closer to $1bn
GoCardless – the fintech which helps companies process recurring payments – is raising another £100 million.
First reported by The Telegraph in October, Business Insider reported last week that the fintech’s round is likely to close at the end of November.
According to Business Insider, GoCardless is also still out of reach of unicorn status. Its post-money valuation of could be $800 million, all the way up to $950 million.
Sources say the investment is being led by Boston-based finance giant Bain’s venture arm, Bain Capital Ventures.
Existing GoCardless investors include Accel, Salesforce Ventures, GV, and Balderton Capital.
Present in some 30 countries, GoCardless processes some $15 billion annually in recurring payments.
It is building out its presence in Australia, where it is readying for open banking and instant direct debit regulations to kick in. Other offices span the UK, France, Germany and the US.