Challenger bank Starling is in talks with investors to raise at least £10 million ($US15.7 million) to fund the launch of its mobile-first current account early next year.
CEO and co-founder Anne Boden told Business Insider: “We’re funded at the moment by a series of high net worth individuals. We’re out there raising our next round of funding which is going to be £10 million plus, not that I can give the exact figure. But we’re out there talking to investors about our next round.”
Boden says she expects the so-called “series A” round of investment to be completed within the next 6 months.
Starling, which has yet to launch publicly, is one of a number of so-called “challenger banks” that have sprung up in the wake of the financial crisis aiming to bring more competition to banking. Other notable challengers include Metro Bank, Aldermore, and Shawbrook.
Starling, which hopes to get its banking licence early next year, is building a mobile-focused, data-driven current account that can be controlled from your smartphone.
Boden was tight-lipped about specific features, but told us: “Our target is people who are always looking at their phones because they’re living their life on their smartphones. All these apps on their phones make their lives better but their banking app doesn’t.”
“We believe more and more people want banking apps that fit in with every other part of their lives.”
Atom Bank is also working on a mobile-only retail bank and German companies Fidor and Number26 are developing similar offerings.