ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business Deals

SoftBank's Vision Fund makes first bet on Europe's fintech sector

Joint $440m investment in UK digital bank marks regional record

OakNorth Bank co-founder and CEO Rishi Khosla leads Europe's most valuable fintech venture.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- SoftBank's Vision Fund is moving into Europe's financial technology sector, leading a $440 million funding round for U.K. digital banking startup OakNorth Holdings.

The Vision Fund will invest $390 million while Singapore-based conglomerate Clermont Group will cover the remaining $50 million, in what is believed to be one of the largest European fintech fundraisers so far. The deal gives the startup a valuation of $2.8 billion, making it the most valuable fintech venture in the region, the company told the Nikkei Asian Review on Friday.

The fresh proceeds will be used to expand OakNorth's operations into the U.S.

OakNorth focuses on small and midsize companies and has lent $3.7 billion to British businesses since its launch in September 2015, according to the company. The company also provides an analytics platform to other lenders.

The deal comes less than six months after the startup raised $100 million from Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and other investors. Indiabulls Housing Finance, an Indian financial services company, is also a major shareholder, according to Crunchbase.

The Saudi-backed $100 billion Vision Fund, managed by a subsidiary of SoftBank Group, is focused on investing in leading private tech companies related to artificial intelligence. It holds stakes in fintech companies like India's Paytm and U.S.-based Kabbage, and the investment in OakNorth represents its first major fintech deal in Europe.

Its other European investments include Germany-based Auto1 Group, a used car trading platform. SoftBank has also transferred a stake in U.K. chip design company Arm Holdings, which it bought for $32 billion in 2016, to the fund.

"OakNorth is delivering a highly differentiated service to a key segment of the market that has historically been underserved by commercial banks," said Munish Varma, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media