REX: N26 Ambitions to Become the Netflix of the Financial Sector
After their latest $470 million funding series, N26 is now valued $3.5 billion and reports on their still exponential growth.
This Unicorn keeps attracting more customers (+10,000 each day):
3.5M customers in Europe, across 24 countries (vs 2.3M end-2018),
900,000 customers in France, and they intend to have attracted 2M customers within a few months,
110,000 customers on waitlist in the US.
Their recent funding round was mostly intended to feed their international expansion. They now aim for Brazil, where they will face competition from the largest challenger bank worldwide, Nubank (12M customers).
N26 entered the US market quite recently: Beta tests are still underway and customers are step by step being added to their waitlist. Unlike in Europe, they will operate without a banking license, and rather rely on a partnership with a local player.
Their ultimate goal: shake the financial sector, just like Netflix and Uber on their respective markets. Over time, N26 aims to attract 100 million customers, while remaining independent. This goal could be met as they eye a future IPO within 3 to 5 years.
Improving their profitability. N26 deems that becoming profitable is a long-term endeavour, but they still want to further improve their model through relying on well-established strengths: lower cost than network banks (5 to 6 times cheaper in Valentin Stalf's assessments) and higher margins.
Addressing hyper-growth challenges. This fast growth requires N26 to hire more staff globally. They must also meet the local regulatory requirements. This latest challenge caused them to create a security Hub after the BaFin pointed to different deficiencies last spring.
N26 regularly comes up with new features, and they just started testing Shared Spaces. This service applies changes to their existing virtual money pots (“Espaces”). These shared spaces let at least 10 people fund a common project or pay for shared expenses. Each shared space has one owner, but all participants enjoy the same rights. This feature is available free of charge.