Starling Bank close to a million customers after £30m investment boost

Starling Bank is set to notch up a million customers within “weeks” after it raised £30 million in new funds to drive European expansion.

The challenger bank said it had brought in £20 million from TransferWise and Klarna investor Merian Chrysalis Investment Company, with an extra £10 million from existing investor JTC.

The money will be used to help expand into Europe, and management are in discussions with the Central Bank of Ireland to win an Irish banking licence.

This would give it passporting rights into the European Union even after the UK leaves the bloc, to operate in Germany, France and the Netherlands.

The passporting principle means that any EU banking licence can be used in other member countries.

Starling did not reveal the valuation against which the funds were raised. It has managed to attract £263 million to date.

In February, a Merian Global Investor-led round raised £75 million.

Chief executive Anne Boden said the bank had “come a long way” since that investment earlier this year. It has launched new features and speeded up the number of customers opening accounts.

“This latest investment of £20 million from Merian Chrysalis will support Starling’s rapid growth and help us reach one million customers and £1 billion on deposit within weeks,” said Ms Boden.

“It will also help us accelerate our global expansion, starting in Europe, so that even more people can benefit from the Starling app.”

Starling employs 700 people across its UK offices in London and Southampton, and will soon open a location in Cardiff.

Its Dublin office employs three people, and it will open sites in other European countries when it expands into them.

Earlier this month, the bank launched a major new advertising push with posters and a short TV advert.

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