The Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, has approved a €193 million funding round secured by challenger bank Bunq that sees it welcome its first external investor, Pollen Street Capital, and make its first acquisition.
Writing in a blog post on 2 December, Bunq founder and CEO Ali Niknam (pictured) called it the largest Series A round ever secured, setting a new record for European fintech and valuing the bank at €1.6 billion.
The proceeds from the fundraising will be used to scale up the bank across Europe and to kickstart its M&A strategy.
Niknam wrote: “As part of today’s deal, we have made our first acquisition, securing Irish lender Capitalflow. Like us, they have a laser focus on their users and value sustainability highly.”
He said he hoped it would be the first acquisition of many, as Bunq “spearheads a new wave of post-pandemic fintech M&A”.
“Bunq will also use the injection of funds to fuel our growth across Europe, particularly in Germany and France. This follows our introduction this year of German, French and Spanish IBANs and the opening of new offices in Cologne and Paris,” he added.
“Excitingly, we also plan to double the number of bunq staff by the end of 2022.”