The challenger bank says that it will use the funding to hire 1,000 people and increase its focus in European markets, which includes aggressive expansion through Eastern Europe in the coming years.
It also says it plans to add investment and trading capabilities to its platform, continue developing its core banking functions and even prepare for an IPO over the next few years.
While co-founder and co-CEO Valentin Stalf set a more conservative timetable for the challenger bank’s public plans, fellow co-founder and co-CEO Maximilian Tayenthal told CNBC he expects the company to be “structurally IPO-ready” within 12 to 18 months.
Dragoneer Investment Group and other existing investors also participated in the funding round, which raises N26’s valuation to $9 billion, and its total funding to over $1.7 billion raised through 10 funding rounds.
The massive valuation triples N26’s valuation and sets its market cap slightly higher than Germany’s second-biggest bank, Commerzbank, which has a market cap of $8.8 billion, according to CNBC.
Founded in 2013, N26 has grown to be one of the biggest fintech startups in Europe, with over seven million customers across Europe and the US. The company is on pace to process $90 billion in transactions this year, and recently acquired a banking license in Brazil where it plans to launch publicly in 2021.
“We have no hurry to go public,” Tayenthal said. “With increasing profitability, the kind of money we are raising right now, it really takes away any time pressure.”
While N26 has had a number of hurdles in its path towards growth, including outcry from staff in its Berlin office and fines from Germany’s financial services regulator BaFin, but told TechCrunch it has spent the past year working on its regulatory frameworks and internal processes and is set to move forward.
In other recent fintech news, Roostify launched its AI-powered API for home lending. Tiger Global also led a $298 million funding round in UK-based retail investing platform TradingView, prompting a $3 billion valuation.