March 20, 2018 / 7:51 AM / 5 months ago

German mobile bank N26 raises $160 mln in funding round

March 20 (Reuters) - Berlin-based digital bank N26 said on Tuesday it raised $160 million in a funding round co-led by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and Allianz Group’s digital investment unit.

This brings the total funds raised by the company to $215 million and represents the largest equity financing round in Germany’s fintech sector, N26 said.

The company, which counts Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel among its backers, is competing with traditional branch-based retail banks by offering a suite of mobile banking services that customers can use entirely from their smartphones.

Since its launch in Germany in 2015, the company has expanded rapidly into 17 European countries including Austria, France, Spain and Italy.

N26 will use the funds for its international expansion, particularly into the United States and UK later this year, and to support product development in its existing markets, the company said.

Last year, N26’s chief executive said the company expects to peel away 5 percent to 10 percent of retail customers aged 18 to 35 from established banks in its core continental European market in the next two to three years. (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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