Lunar raises €210m to reach unicorn status

12 Jul 2021

Image: Lunar

The Danish challenger bank plans to use its Series D funding to expand across the Nordic countries.

Danish fintech start-up Lunar has raised €210m in a Series D funding round led by Heartland, with Tencent, Kinnevik and Peter Mühlmann, founder of Trustpilot, also participating.

While the company did not announce an official valuation, Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reported that with this round of funding, Lunar has achieved unicorn status.

The Aarhus-based challenger bank, previously known as Lunar Way, was founded in 2015 by Ken Villum Klausen. It has since grown into a Scandinavia-wide company with offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo and more than 300 employees. Its Series C funding round in October 2020 raised €40m.

The company says its userbase has grown more than 90pc in the past year to approximately 325,000, and that its business arm dealt with more than half of all new Danish SMEs in 2021.

Commenting on the announcement, Klausen said: “We are beyond excited to welcome investors with such valuable experience to join our next stage of growth. It’s a massive step for both Lunar and Nordic banking customers. The investment underpins Lunar’s long term vision of building a digital-first financial ecosystem for both private consumers and businesses.

“We are at a true crossroads in the Nordics. Both private and business customers expect a more convenient, empathic and engaging alternative to traditional banks, lenders and payment service providers.”

Lise Kaae, CEO of Danish investment house Heartland, said: “Heartland is pleased to be welcomed as an investor in Lunar. The investment builds on our strategy of backing best-in-class businesses and management teams. We look forward to supporting the team in developing next generation digital-first financial services in the Nordics and beyond.”

The company made clear that it plans to expand further into the Nordic market, addressing part of the Series D announcement to “the 27m Nordic consumers and businesses that did not join us yet”. In comparison to many fintech start-ups, the company boasts its own European banking licence, acquired from the Danish regulator in 2019.

In April, Lunar acquired Lendify, a Swedish lending firm with a portfolio of more than €300m in loans. This was Lunar’s first acquisition since its foundation.

Lunar’s announcement comes just days after Dutch banking start-up Bunq also achieved unicorn status. A recently-published report revealed that Europe is leading the world in producing unicorns.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin