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SMB neobanking may get a confidence boost from Qonto’s possible €400M round

The news: Qonto, a French neobank that caters to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), is in discussions to raise about €400 million ($456.1 million) at a valuation of up to €4.4 billion ($5.02 billion), per Insider. The amount it’s raising and the valuation could still change before a round is finalized.

More on this: The challenger would get a five-fold valuation jump if the round goes through at its current terms—its previous amount came in January 2020 when it reached €811 million ($924.7 million).

Qonto, which operates in multiple European countries and has around 200,000 customers, was set to land an approximately €3 billion ($3.42 billion) valuation. However, US hedge fund Tiger Global’s entry into the mix as a prospective investor drove up the amount.

An overview: The company targets SMBs and freelancers by offering three types of paid accounts with monthly fees:

  • Basic, at €9 ($10.26) per month, with 30 Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transfers and direct debits
  • Smart, at €19 ($21.66) per month, with 60 SEPA transfers and direct debits
  • Premium, at €39 ($44.47) per month, with 100 SEPA transfers and direct debits

Smart and Premium customers get added features, such as:

  • Cashed checks, with two for Smart and five for Premium
  • Accounting services like VAT auto-detection and help with receipts
  • Accountant access in addition to the account holder

Every tier has unlimited account statements, plus country-specific IBANs for France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

The big takeaway: The potential terms of Qonto’s new round—particularly given Tiger Global’s bullish outlook increasing the valuation—is a new sign of investors’ confidence in SMB neobanking as a lucrative market.

If the funding comes through, it would mark the latest milestone for the space within the past year in Europe. Recent examples of funding—and performance success—include:

  • Tide bringing in $100 million in July 2021 with a $650 million valuation.
  • Recognise Bank getting £14 million ($18 million) in August 2021.
  • Starling first hitting monthly profitability in October 2020 and with an expectation of turning an annual profit for its current fiscal year.
  • OakNorth saw an 18% annual profit jump for 2020 compared to 2019.