UK challenger bank Atom raises an additional £ 50m from BBVA and more at a valuation of £ 530m – TechCrunch
Another hope among Europe’s so-called challenger banks – startups taking on the big names in mainstream banking by targeting niche user groups with a more modern set of tools for managing money of users – has raised a significant fundraiser to develop its activities.
Bank of atoms – which primarily targets millennial consumers (current slogan: ‘It’s all about you, you, you’) with mobile-focused savings accounts and mortgages as well as small business loans – raised An additional £ 50million. He is not officially disclosing his valuation, but sources confirm that it is £ 530million (or around $ 660million at current rates), up from £ 450million previously.
“What is important to customers are good products, good service and value for money, so this is where we have spent most of our time and energy,” said Mark Mullen. , CEO of Atom, in a statement. “We are expanding our team here in the Northeast and will be adding 50 new positions this year to help us expand the range of products and services we offer, starting with instant access savings in the fall. More than ever, we are convinced of the importance of Atom’s role in driving positive change in the UK banking sector.
This latest round included investments from banking giant BBVA, which conducted its latest round of £ 149 million in 2018 – as well as Toscafund, Woodford Patient Capital Trust and funds advised by Perscitus LLP. Other leading investors have included the tastes of the musician and the kisser of all future technologies, William.
The start-up was co-founded by one of the industry’s first ‘bank disruptors’ – Anthony Thomson, who previously co-founded one of the first entities to challenge the dominance of High Street banks in the UK, Metro Bank. The rise of Atom reflects a broader trend in Europe, and in particular the UK, of what are collectively known as challenger banks.
Atom, founded several years ago, was one of the first, but there are now a number of others with banking offerings – sometimes in addition to older infrastructure, which they see as online services. white label – which appeal to younger workers and savers because of lower fees, more flexibility in how money can be moved and borrowed, and benefits aimed specifically at their population. Others include Monese, Monzo, Revolut, Starling, N26, and Tandem.
Atom says that over the past year its total loans, covering both homeowners and small businesses, have increased 76%, to £ 2.4bn, with deposits amounting to £ 1.8bn sterling (vs. £ 1.4 billion). Atom says it receives applications for up to £ 20million in business loans and £ 10million in residential mortgages every week.
All good signs, but the crowded market with challengers, alongside big banks finally putting their new business strategies in order, is part of what is driving this investment and what the company plans to do with it.
In november 2018, Atom announced its partnership with a fintech start-up called Thought machine – founded by an ex-Googler several years ago – to migrate all of its banking technology to Thought Machine’s Blockchain platform called Vault. The plan was to move Atom’s operations to the cloud and to a much more modern infrastructure set, to reduce running costs, and also to start introducing new services – although Atom does not specify when. .
Still, it looks like the company’s current measures and the progress it has made so far in its Think Machine migration are encouraging investors.
“This latest increase recognizes the tremendous strides we have made on our journey to disrupt the UK banking industry and is a clear signal of our investors’ support for our future endeavors,” said Bridget Rosewell, President of Atom, in a press release.