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Dutch neobank unicorn bunq secures €29M to fuel UK and US expansion

bunq ceo
Picture credits: bunq

Amsterdam-based challenger bank bunq, the second largest neobank in the European Union, has secured €29 million from existing backers to finance its growth. As per the company’s annual report, it gained a net profit of €53 million for 2023. This investment follows the additional €44.5 million in growth capital raised back in 2023. 

As per Finovate, this is part of Bunq’s plans for growing in other markets, as well as to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements set by the Dutch Central Bank. 

UK and US expansion plans

The newly acquired funds will fuel bunq’s expansion plans, particularly in the UK market, and mark its strategic entry into the US market. To facilitate this expansion, bunq is gearing up to re-apply for a banking license in the US through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), following the withdrawal of a previous application due to regulatory challenges with Dutch and US authorities.

“As part of our international growth ambitions, we applied for an American banking license in April of 2023 and opened offices in New York City, paving the way for further international growth,” mentioned Ali Niknam, Founder and CEO of Bunq, in its annual report. “While we can’t predict the future, we can shape it. If the changes in the banking landscape of the past decade or indeed just the changes of the past year are any indication, the future is up to be a bright one,” added.

Finn, a ChatGPT-like gen AI platform

Ali Niknam, a serial entrepreneur, founded bunq in 2012 after securing the first European banking permit. Until 2021, he self-funded the challenger bank. To date, he invested nearly $112 million in the company. Apparently, it had the independence and freedom to build a bank focusing on the needs and wants of users. 

Late last year, bunq launched its own Gen AI platform called Finn powered by large language models (LLMs) from OpenAI and Meta. It is designed to replace the search function on the bunq app and help users plan their finances, better budget, navigate the app, easily find transactions, and much more. help users plan their finances, make better budgets, and easily find transactions.

Similar to ChatGPT, Finn features a chat-style text box where users can ask questions or get advice related to their bank account, spending habits, savings, and other aspects related to money. 

Besides this, there were a few other new additions made during the year included cash back and savings bonuses to its offerings. This provides users with an extended warranty and purchase protection on certain purchases they make with their Bunq card. 

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