App-only bank Starling Bank clinches £48m

Bank has received funding in three tranches between December 2015 and April 2017 and now has a full banking licence

Starling Bank, the app-only bank, has just raised £48m from Harald McPike.

Founded by Anne Boden in 2014, London-based Starling Bank is an app-only challenger bank which provides the user with contactless Mastercard debit card and sends real-time spending notifications straight to their mobile.

The company claims an account can be set up in minutes on a mobile and includes biometric security, overdraft control, zero monthly account fees and no charges when using a card abroad.

Users also receive spending insights, giving a clear breakdown of their spending habits that can help them make better financial decisions and identify areas for improvement.

In July 2016, Starling received its provisional banking licence from the UK’s banking watchdogs, ahead of its official launch in January. Regulators lifted restrictions on that licence this week, making it a fully licensed bank.

In March, Starling Bank teamed up with Startups 100-featured TransferWise to launch a service that will make it easier and cheaper for their customers to make transfers from the UK across 35 currencies.

The investment of £48m was initially announced in January 2016 and has come in three tranches: £3.15m in December 2015, £14.84m in July 2016, and £30m in April 2017.

A spokesman for Starling explained that the investments were staggered and released in phases as the business hit certain targets.

Speaking about the deal to Business Insider, Boden said: “We’re now able to move forward with our mission, to provide a step change in banking and help more people to have a healthy financial life.”

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