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Welcome to the latest edition of Banking Technology! As we return from a summer break, here are some ups and downs over the past two months in the world of challenger banking.
The UK now has another fully licensed bank – GB Bank – only the second this year. Others, although significantly fewer in number than in previous years, are in preparation. Among them is StreamBank, based in Cardiff, Wales, founded to serve specialist property and savings clients.
It applied for a banking license last year, has set up a core banking system (MV Core Banking from national provider Mutual Vision) and is now in the final stages – mobilization – before full licensing can be granted.
However, London-based Dozens has shut down. Launched three years ago, it had 60,000 customers and raised £30m through institutional sponsors and crowdfunding. Dozens of people cited various reasons, including the “domino effect” of Covid, which led to “less money in the system” and less funding going to the consumer side of fintech.
“Now is the perfect time to be a bank. But while we are still in the development stages of the business and operating on an e-money license, a model that does not rely on loans is less likely to survive,” he explained.
Starling, a top British challenger, has decided to abandon its European banking ambitions and has withdrawn its application for a banking license in Ireland.
In Germany, banking service provider Nuri filed for insolvency. Founded in 2015, Nuri offered a free bank account with a Visa debit card and focused on crypto investing.
He also cited aftershocks of the pandemic as the reason along with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cooling public and private capital markets, and unfavorable developments in the crypto space.
Penta, the German SME bank, has been sold to its French counterpart, Qonto, for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2017, Penta last raised €7.5m in extended Series B in 2021. Qonto has pan-European ambitions and cash to spend after securing €486m in Series D earlier this year, setting “a new record valuation for a French scale”. -up” by 4.4 billion euros.
Also in France, Vybe, a banking app for teenagers and their parents, went into liquidation after running out of money. Founded in 2019, Vybe claims 40,000 customers for its free payment card with cashback. He raised 2.4 million euros last year in seed funds.
Stay tuned for more news on the start-up banking front – our FinTech Futures website reports daily on industry happenings around the world (and there’s plenty more content we hope will you will find interesting and useful)!
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