British challenger bank Monese has secured $10 million in investments to enable it expand operations in Europe. The £8.2m it received in Series A funding came from a diverse group of investors including Anthemis Exponential Ventures, Korea Investment Partners and STE Capital. This is a huge step forward from the $1.8 million it raised in the summer of 2015 from the entrepreneur and investor Shakil Khan, Seedcamp and SmartCap. The two companies from the initial investment were also a part of this round of funding, bringing the total raised so far to $15.8 million. The digital banking app targeting immigrants and expats in the UK allows them to open a bank account in under three minutes, and doesn’t require proof of address or credit history. The fintech start-up is now looking to launch a euro denominated account that will enable European residents become consumers.
“We are incredibly excited to close a heavily oversubscribed funding round with a suite of top investors at our side,” said chief executive Norris Koppel.
“The money raised will be key in helping us launch Euro current accounts and become available to customers in other European markets as well as a host of new features like direct debit and credit services to ensure customers have everything they need to stay in complete control of their finances.” Monese was the first digital bank to launch in the UK. It now has 40,000 customers from 179 countries, who have made over 1.8 million transactions for a total value of £150 million. Their model strongly appealed to Korea Investment Partners, which has also invested in Kakao Bank, Korea’s first internet-only bank, and is set to be a ‘strategic investor’. It also marked the first investment by the company in a European start-up. Monese app is available via android and iOS. Other digital banks in the UK have since launched or are about to launch, though they may not contest in the same market.