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Nordic challenger bank Lunar raises €40M Series C, plans to enter the ‘buy now, pay later’ space – TechCrunch

Lunar, the Nordic challenger financial institution that started off life as a private finance supervisor app (PFM) however acquired a full banking license in 2019, has raised €40 million in Collection C funding from present buyers.

The injection of capital follows a €20 million Series B disclosed in April this year and comes on the again of Lunar rolling out Professional paid-for subscriptions — much like plenty of different challenger banks in Europe — private client loans, and the launch of enterprise financial institution accounts in August.

The latter seems to have been an prompt success, maybe proof there may be — like within the U.Ok. — pent up demand for extra accessible banking for sole merchants. Simply months since launching in Denmark, Lunar Enterprise claims to have signed up greater than 50% of all newly based sole dealer companies within the nation.

I’m additionally instructed that Lunar has seen “best-in-class” person engagement with customers spending €1,100 per thirty days versus what the financial institution says is a €212 EU common for card transactions. Total, the financial institution has 5,000 enterprise customers and 200,000 non-public customers throughout Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

In the meantime — and most noteworthy — after launching its first client lending merchandise by itself steadiness sheet, Lunar has set its sights on the “purchase now, pay later” market, due to this fact theoretically encroaching on $10.65 billion valued Klarna, and Affirm within the U.S. which simply filed to go public. Different giants within the BNPL area additionally embody PayPal.

Lunar founder and CEO Ken Villum Klausen says the “schizophrenic” Nordic banking market is the rationale why the challenger is launching BNPL. “It’s essentially the most worthwhile banking panorama on the planet, but additionally essentially the most defensive, with least competitors from the surface,” he says. “Which means that the standard banking buyer is shopping for all their monetary merchandise from their financial institution”.

It’s inside this context that Lunar’s BNPL merchandise are constructed as “post-purchase,” the place Lunar will immediate its customers after they’ve purchased one thing (not dissimilar to Curve’s deliberate credit score providing). For instance, should you have been to purchase a brand new tv, the app will ask if you wish to break up the acquisition into instalments. “This doesn’t require service provider agreements and so forth, and can work on all transactions each retail and e-commerce,” explains Klausen.

“We don’t view Klarna as a direct competitor as they don’t seem to be within the Nordic clearing system,” he provides. “Therefore, you can’t pay your payments, get your wage and use it for day by day banking. Klarna is big in Sweden, however comparatively small in Denmark, Norway and Finland”.

In complete, Lunar has raised €104 million from buyers together with Seed Capital, Greyhound Capital, Socii Capital and Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker. The challenger has places of work in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, with a headcount of greater than 180 workers. It plans to launch its banking app in Finland within the first half of 2021.

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Steve O'Hear