London fintech Starling raises £40m to support SME lending

29 May 2020

Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden. Image: Starling

The latest investment brings the total raised by Starling Bank this year to £100m.

Today (29 May), London-based fintech Starling Bank announced that it has raised £40m in its latest funding round, led by existing backers JTC and Merian Chrysalis Investment Company.

It follows a £60m investment round that the start-up closed in February, bringing the total raised by Starling this year to £100m. Since the start-up was launched in 2014, it has raised a total of £363m.

Starling said that it now has more than 1.4m current accounts, including 155,000 business accounts, on its banking platform, which was launched in 2017. The company added that its deposit base has doubled in the last six months to £2.4bn.

As a digital banking platform, Starling said that it has seen “robust customer acquisition” since the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown began in March.

Plans for funding

In a statement, Starling said that it plans to use the fresh funding to continue growing and to provide “much-needed support” to small business customers who have been hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The company said that it holds a 2.6pc share of the UK’s SME banking market and has almost £500m in SME lending on its balance sheet. It has further commitments to raise the total of SME loans on its platform to almost £1bn.

Starling added that its operating model has enabled it to ramp up lending in May, with a collaboration to lend £300m through the UK government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and under its own CBIL and bounce back loan schemes.

The company’s CEO, Anne Boden, said: “This additional funding from our existing investors demonstrates their commitment both to Starling and to our small business and personal customers who need our support now more than ever.”

Boden’s career in banking spans almost four decades. Prior to launching the start-up, she served as chief operating officer of Irish bank AIB, head of EMEA for Royal Bank of Scotland, and executive vice-president of ABN Amro Bank.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic