FinTech: Fresh From A £322M Funding Round, Starling May Target Another Lender

Digital bank Starling’s chief executive Anne Boden revealed this at the UK Fintech Week.

Boden said at the event that Starling now had the wherewithal to buy out another lender. Further, responding to the U.K. Government’s newly-announced fast-track “scale up” visas proposal, she said there was no need for these because home-grown talent was available in plenty within the U.K. (Peer2Peer Finance News)

Cash war chest

Starling on Monday announced its raise of £50 million ($69 million) from Goldman Sachs’ growth equity investment arm.

The funding came as an extension of the £272 million Series D round announced in March 2021, taking Starling’s total fundraising in the round to £322 million.

The bank has also become profitable, one of the first neobanks to achieve this milestone, and is likely to report its first full year of profit by the end of the next financial year.

Boden said on a potential acquisition: “We have £6bn worth of customer deposits and now have the capabilities to buy a lending business in order to get more lending out there into the economy so that’s probably one of the next challenges for us.”

SME lending

Starling is the fastest-growing bank that serves SMEs in the U.K., and its share of that market is now 6%.

“We are in a fantastic position in the UK, we have a thriving fintech industry and are really proud being part of an industry doing the right thing by its customers, whether retail or small- and medium-sized enterprises,” Boden said.

According to P2P Financial News, the digital bank deployed over £358 million under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) and just over £1 billion in bounce-back loans as of November 2020.

On the talent pool available to the U.K. fintech industry: “I think the fintech industry as a whole keeps going on about the need for visas,” she said. “We’ve never needed visas to import talent, we have great talent up and down the country.”

Related Story:   U.K. Challenger Bank Starling Gets £50M From Goldman Sachs                                               

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