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Starling Bank plans to raise £199.89 million as it eyes IPO

written by Bella Palmer

The digital bank is looking for additional expansion in its home market

Starling Bank is pushing ahead with plans to raise another £199.89 million ($263 million) as the U.K.-based digital bank looks to fuel additional expansion in its home market while eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) down the line.

Starling has hired Rothschild to handle the push for additional cash, with the startup talking up investors with its belief it is nearing profitability, according to TechCrunch, citing “well-placed sources.”

A spokesperson for Starling declined to comment, saying it is the digital bank’s policy to “not comment on future funding rounds or appointments.”

The new round of fundraising comes atop the £362.53 million ($477 million) that Starling has raised so far, with Founder Anne Boden now talking publicly about her desire to take the startup U.K. digital bank public.

A banking veteran with stints at such traditional mainstays as Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered, Boden recently published a 300-page book offering an insider look at the launch of Starling in 2014, “Banking On It.”

I’ve got my sights on an IPO, Boden told TechCrunch, saying she has no desire to sell Starling and wants to stay independent. I’d very much like to do that. I’ve been very, very fortunate, I’ve had a long career, which is full of interesting things. And the next challenge is in front of me.

However, in order to whet the appetite of investors, Starling Bank will also need to continue to show progress, with Bode indicating in published interviews she hopes to see the digital bank’s balance sheet finally move out of the red and into the black by the end of the year.

Bank of England granted Starling a banking license in 2016.

The startup followed that up in 2017 with the launch of its first mobile personal bank account and app, and the first digital business account in 2018.

In October, Starling rolled out an online banking account for customers who want to manage their accounts on their laptops and desktops, in addition to their phones.

As we’re all spending more time at home than usual, it’s important that our customers can manage their money from anywhere they wish at any time, Boden said in a press release.


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