UK fintech start-up looks to raise $54 million investment for global expansion

U.K. fintech start-up Starling Bank – which operates solely on a mobile app – said it plans to raise £40 million ($54 million) from investors to drive expansion into markets beyond the U.K.

The London-based challenger bank doesn’t have a single physical branch, and claims to be the first digital challenger of its kind to offer customers current accounts.

Challenger banks are smaller retail lenders that are set up with the aim of disrupting big, established financial institutions.

“As Starling Bank continues to grow, and our customer base expands every day, this funding will help us consolidate our current share of the market and drive our growth both in the U.K. and internationally,” Starling’s Chief Executive Anne Boden announced Friday.

Starling was given banking passport rights in neighboring country Ireland in June, in a move seen to mark its first expansion to a European Union country.

Capital raised by the fundraising round will allow the fintech bank to continue its growth across Europe, Starling said.

Its plan to raise the cash follows the bank’s initial fundraising round in January last year, which raised £48 million ($65 million), and was led by American trader Harald McPike.

The start-up claims to be the first fintech challenger bank to offer current accounts, and said the latest investment will bolster its aim to “diversify” this product.

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