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Germany's newest unicorn is now Europe’s most valuable fintech company

Jill Petzinger
Jill Petzinger, Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Valentin Stalf, founder and chief executive of N26. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty

Online bank N26 has become Germany’s newest unicorn after raising €260m ($300m) in latest funding round, which values it at €2.3bn. It now plans to launch its mobile-banking app in the US.

The latest investment—coming 10 months after it raised €140m—makes the Berlin-based startup the most valuable private fintech firm in Europe.

N26’s investors include Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, China’s Tencent, and German insurance giant Allianz. The latest round of funding was led by private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, with Singapore’s GIC sovereign fund.

N26, which completed its fourth year this month, says over 2 million people use its mobile-banking app across 24 countries in Europe. The company, with 700 staff in Berlin, Barcelona, and New York, plans to use its new investment to launch in the US market this year, and is eyeing “four to six” global markets beyond the US and EU after that.

CEO and co-founder Valentin Stalf told TechCrunch that the success of the latest funding round was down to growth and profitability.  “We’ve more than tripled the number of customers in the last year,” Stalf said. “Globally, I think we’re the fastest growing mobile bank on the market now.” He added that N26 was profitable on a profit-per-customer basis.

Bloomberg reported this week that German fintech firms pulled in a record €1.3bn in investments for the first time ever in 2018. Payment-software company Wirecard, one of the country’s fintech stars, muscled its way onto the DAX 30 index in September, pushing Commerzbank out of the blue chip index.