As a result of the latest financing round, the company valuation of the Berlin-based FinTech N26 rises to around 2.7 billion US dollars. So the online bank has arrived in the circle of Unicorns - startups with a value of more than one billion US dollars. The FinTech N26 also illustrates the increasing cooperation within the financial sector - the Allianz, one of the largest insurance groups, is one of the startup's investors.
German FinTech rises to Unicorn status
As a result of the latest financing round, the company valuation of the Berlin-based FinTech N26 rises to around 2.7 billion US dollars. The smartphone bank has arrived in the circle of Unicorns – startups with a value of more than one billion US dollars that have not yet gone public. The FinTech N26 also illustrates the increasing cooperation within the financial sector – the world’s largest insurance company Allianz is one of the investors.
This development is in line with the trend among startups in the financial sector. In the recent past, numerous other players achieved successful financing rounds, new powerful partnerships and promising innovations. Due to – in some cases massive – increases of value, some FinTechs are already more valuable than many established financial institutions on the market. In terms of customer numbers the innovators are also more than able to outperform one or the other big player. N26’s founder Max gave the final keynote at the Bitkom Digital Finance Conference last year.
Established startups take advantage of their lead
Even if the current positive developments could create an atmosphere of optimism among FinTechs and InsurTechs, new innovators still have to fight for investments and market shares. At the same time, the established players among the FinTechs are still benefiting greatly from their experience and market position. The departure of payment service provider Cringle last year is an example of how well-known providers - not least from the USA - are significantly better connected and more successfully positioned in their markets. While the Silicon Valley-based players still have that lead and European suppliers are hampering growth in already developed markets, the great leaps of Asian innovators onto the European market will probably not be long in coming. The investment of the Chinese insurance Ping An into the Berlin company builder Finleap can be seen as a first step. Differing views of local supervisory authorities within the EU but also barriers in language are adding to the difficulties in developing European champions.
A harmonised Digital Single Financial Market can support European champions
The market for financial services – both in the banking and insurance sector – still holds enormous potential for innovation. Last but not least, artificial intelligence and adoption of cloud computing will provide unique opportunities for the financial sector. Harmonised regulation within the European Union could be helpful to support the development and establishment of European champions among the Fin- and InsurTechs. Uniform investment regulations or a technology-neutral legislation seem desirable for the many players in the market. In this way, a common Level Playing Field – same business, same risks, same rules – for FinTechs and InsurTechs could also be established. On this basis, open-minded and forward-looking decisions will make it possible to establish even more European Champions among the up-and-coming Insur- and FinTechs on the market. Bitkom’s mission is to bring many of these drivers and disruptors to the stage and discuss their vision of tomorrow's financial world.