Qonto Closes a Major Financing Round, Aims for Banking Status

FACTS

  • The neo-bank for SMEs Qonto announces a major financing round on the French FinTech market.
  • The Chinese giant Tencent led this funding Series, alongside DST Global (famous for previous investments in next-generation technologies, including through ebook, WhatsApp, Airbnb, Spotify, Alibaba, Meituan, Klarna and Nubank).
  • Two years and a half after launching their businesses, Qonto manages to raise €104 million in Series C funding, or a total of €136 million since launch.

Key Figures

  • 2016: Qonto was established
  • 2017: Service launch
  • 65,000 client SMEs
  • 4 European countries covered
  • Over €10B in transactions managed
  • Turnover increased fourfold between 2018 and 2019

CHALLENGES

  • Expanding the banking experience through becoming a full-blown bank. This Series C funding will help them become a full-blown bank; they may even be granted credit institution status from the ACPR by the end of the year. This status would contribute to expanding their credit-focused set of offers: overdrafts, deferred debit cards or other credit lines.
  • Pulling the innovation card. This FinTech aims at further improving SMEs’ financial experience. Technology and design will then be keywords in reshaping their offer.
  • Aiming for European reach. Qonto targets additional markets. They already entered Italy, Spain and Germany, where they intend to secure their positions.

MARKET PERSPECTIVE

  • Just days after their 40 million investment in Lydia was announced, Tencent again bets on a French FinTech. This choice stresses a major focus on the part of Chinese tech giants and their intent to lay roots in the European financial market
  • This announcement also shows that the French FinTech market has grown mature, now reaching beyond national frontiers with larger amounts and investments from famous international VCs.
  • According to KPMG’s observations, French financial players raised €370 million in 2018, and €350 million in H1 2019 alone.

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