UK challenger bank OakNorth has closed a $440 million funding round with the SoftBank Vision Fund and the Clermont Group as it sets sights on building out its international franchise.
One of a host of new entrants to the UK banking market, OakNorth bills itself as a bank for entrepreneurs, providing loans to small firms, and accepting deposits online.
The bank has made a virtue of its cloud-based technology platform, using machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence tools to build a £3.7 billion loan book within four years of launch. OakNorth claims not to have suffered a single default or late payment since its launch in September 2015.
The firm is consequently accelerating its efforts to become a technology supplier to the banking industry, opening new offices in New York and Singapore to service clients across multiple continents. The technology is currently being used by institutions in Asia, North America and Europe - including NIBC Bank in the Netherlands which participated in the $100 million fundraising the group closed in September 2018.
This latest round takes OakNorth Holdings’ total primary and secondary funding to over $1 billion, more than any other fintech in Europe. This financing will be used to launch its lending operations in the US, providing North American lenders with the capability to tap the company's technology stack to grow their portfolios while improving credit quality.