App-only bank Starling celebrates £30m boost ahead of hitting 1m customers

Ben Heathcote

In App Deals. October 27, 2019

Starling, the mobile-only challenger bank headquartered in the UK, is gearing up for further expansion after announcing a £30 million fundraise. The investment comes as Starling revealed that it expects to hit a major milestone of one million customers within weeks.

The funding round was led by Merian Chrysalis Investment Company, with participation from existing backer JTC, bringing the total amount raised by Starling to date to £263 million. It followed a £75 million fundraise, led by Merian Global Investors, in February 2019.

“We’ve come a long way since Merian Global Investors’ first investment of £50 million earlier this year, adding new products and features and accelerating our rate of customer acquisition,” said founder and CEO Anne Boden.

Boden said the investment will support Starling’s rapid growth and also help the startup accelerate its global expansion, starting in Europe. It will also support increased investment in Starling’s retail and SME bank accounts as well as its B2B banking services.

Richard Watts, co-portfolio manager of Merian Chrysalis, added:

“Starling is already proving to be a disruptive force in the banking industry, with its efficient, user-friendly platform gaining popularity among digitally savvy consumers and businesses. The new capital secured in this funding round will allow its management team to pursue its ambitious development programme and we’re delighted that we’re able to provide additional backing for this exciting business.”

Headquartered in London, with offices in Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin, Starling was founded in January 2014 and launched its app in May 2017. Since then, it has opened 930,000 accounts and is on track to attracting its one millionth user in the UK.