- N26 said losses at its core European business fell to 110 million euros ($133 million) in 2020 from 165 million euros the previous year.
- The fintech start-up, which has raised a total of $800 million to date, is looking at deploying its war chest of funds to buy another firm.
- The Berlin-based company plans to hire an additional 200 employees this year, and is also plotting an expansion into Brazil.
LONDON — German online bank N26 is considering making an acquisition for the first time, after raising heaps of cash and trimming its losses despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The $3.5 billion financial technology firm said net losses at its core European business came in at 110 million euros ($133 million) in 2020, down from 165 million euros the previous year.
N26 wouldn’t disclose a revenue figure for last year, but said gross revenues doubled to nearly 100 million euros in 2019, from 43.6 million euros a year earlier. Its European losses also more than doubled that year, though, from 73.2 million euros in 2018.
The digital bank’s total 2019 operating losses, which include the U.S. and U.K. markets — N26 pulled out of Britain last year — stood at 216.9 million euros. N26 didn’t disclose full losses including international markets for 2020.
Founded in 2013 by longtime friends Maximilian Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf, N26 has attracted 7 million users globally and is one of many app-based challenger banks that gained popularity in recent years. Its rivals include Revolut in Europe and Chime in the U.S.
The firm has raised a total of $800 million to date, from investors including Chinese tech giant Tencent and billionaires Peter Thiel and Li Ka-shing. It has also started looking at deploying its war chest of funds to buy a fintech competitor.
“We have started to look — and we are still looking — opportunistically at some interesting targets,” Tayenthal, N26’s co-CEO, told CNBC in an interview. The company has historically relied on organic growth, he added.
“It could be players that are strong in certain areas; think about trading, think about KYC (know your customer). There could be other fintechs; challenger players in our space that have a good customer base.”
Tayenthal said there were no “super concrete” plans currently in place, but that it’s held discussions and is “looking at a good number of players.”
“I’ve had conversations and we still continue to look at interesting opportunities,” he said.