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Turkish fintech Colendi raises $65M, eyes $1B valuation

Turkish fintech Colendi raises $6M, eyes $1 Billion valuation
Image credit: Colendi

Colendi, a Turkish fintech company, has secured $65 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its valuation to $700 million. This significant investment fuels Colendi’s ambitions to become a major digital banking player across emerging markets.

Earlier this month, we also reported about a Canadian fintech called Teal that raised $8M to build ‘Stripe for accounting.

The funding round was led by Citi Ventures, the venture capital arm of Citigroup. This participation from a major financial institution signifies growing interest in Colendi’s approach to fintech. The round also attracted participation from a diverse group of investors, including Migros Ticaret AS (a leading Turkish retailer), Sepil Ventures, Re-Pie Asset Management, Finberg, and Hedef Holding. Existing investors also participated in the round, demonstrating continued confidence in Colendi’s vision.

Focus on data privacy and emerging markets

Founded by Bulent Tekmen, Colendi offers a range of financial services including fraud protection, “financial passports,” and credit scoring. A key differentiator for Colendi is its focus on data privacy. The company claims to not retain users’ personal data while still providing these services. This approach could be particularly appealing in markets with stricter data privacy regulations.

Expansion plans and potential unicorn status

Colendi currently boasts 17 million users in Turkey. The company aims to leverage its Series B funding to expand into populous emerging markets like Pakistan and Indonesia. Long-term goals include becoming a major digital banking player across the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

With this recent funding and ambitious expansion plans, Colendi’s founder, Bulent Tekmen, expresses confidence in achieving unicorn status (a valuation of over $1 billion) by the end of 2024. Tekmen states that the Series B funding, which was “in extreme demand,” will provide the necessary resources to establish Colendi Bank.

What we think about the startup

While Colendi’s funding and growth plans are impressive, some challenges remain. The company will need to effectively navigate the regulatory landscape in various emerging markets it plans to enter. 

Additionally, Colendi’s approach to data privacy warrants further scrutiny. Exactly how the company offers services like credit scoring without retaining personal data needs to be clearly communicated to gain user trust.

Colendi’s recent funding round and ambitious expansion plans position it as a promising player in the global fintech landscape. Its focus on data privacy could be a significant advantage in certain markets. However, regulatory hurdles and questions regarding its data practices need to be addressed for Colendi to achieve its long-term goals.

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