Starling Bank is in the process of moving from “challenger” bank to a major, mainstream player in the 21st Century’s banking sector.
Starling Bank has raised £130.5m from its existing investor base, as it looks to build a “war chest” for acquisitions.
The challenger bank said that the £130.5m fundraise, announced today, gives Starling a pre-money valuation of more than £2.5bn.
“This will enable us to continue our growth and to build a war chest for acquisitions. We are looking at a number of potential targets,” a spokesperson said.
Starling did not reveal any further details about possible acquisition targets.
Existing investors who participated in the round include Starling’s biggest backer Harald McPike, the Bahamas-based media-shy investor who is thought to own just under 40 per cent of Starling.
Current investors Fidelity Management and Research Company, RPMI Railpen, Qatar Investment Authority and Goldman Sachs were also amongst those taking part in the round.
One fintech source said the benefit of undertaking an “internal fundraise” was it was a “quick” and “easy” way of raising funds, without having to make the business case to new investors.
The source said it was a “vote of confidence” in Starling.
In March last year, Starling snagged a blockbuster £272m funding round, giving it a valuation of £1.1bn and elevating it to unicorn status.
All these loans can be held, up to £20,000, as Innovative Finance Individual Savings Accounts (IFISAs). IFISAs are explained in more detail below. Here’s the latest from the auction room:
Historical Performance And IFISA Process Guide
That figure is the result of over £24 million of loans facilitated on the site, as we bring individuals looking for a good return on capital together with carefully vetted small companies seeking funds for growth. Bear in mind that lenders’ capital is at risk. Read warnings on site before committing capital.
All loans on site are eligible to be held in a Money&Co. Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFISA), up to the annual ISA limit of £20,000. Such loans offer lenders tax-free income. Our offering is an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that can hold the peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans that Money&Co. facilitates. For the purposes of this article, the terms ISA and IFISA are interchangeable.
So here’s our guide to the process:
The ISA allowance for 2020/21 is unchanged from last tax year at £20,000, allowing a married couple to put £40,000 into a tax-free environment. Over three years, an investment of this scale in two Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISAs would generate £8,400 of income completely free of tax. We’re assuming a 7 per cent return, net of charges and free of tax here.
Once you have made your initial commitment, you might then consider diversifying – buying a spread of loans. To do this, you can go into the “loans for sale” market. All loans bought in this market also qualify for IFISA tax benefits.
Risk: Security, Access, Yield
Do consider not just the return, but the security and the ease of access to your investment. We write regularly about these three key factors. Here’s one of several earlier articles on security, access and yield.