UK lender Acorn OakNorth raises $100m in funding
UK fintech firm Acorn OakNorth has closed a $100 million funding round aimed at driving growth to make its platform reach $5 billion in assets under service across the US, Europe and Asia.
In the UK, challenger bank OakNorth aims to have a loan book of around $2.8 billion, having already lent over $1 billion of new capital year to date. The funding will also be used to push its fintech platform, Acorn machine.
EDBI of Singapore and NIBC Bank have come on as new backers, with participation of existing investors Clermont Group, GIC and Coltrane Asset Management.
Chu Swee Yeok, chief executive officer and president of the EDBI of Singapore, says: “By leveraging machine learning, proprietary and third-party data sources, as well as credit analysis competencies, we believe the platform can help address the underserved SME loans segment in the region, improving financial institutions’ cost efficiency and underwriting processes.”
According to Acorn OakNorth, the $100 million represented 4.3% of the company valuation, so the estimated total valuation is around $2.3 billion.
Since the start of 2018, OakNorth has doubled its loan book from $1.1 billion to $2.2 billion and expects to lend a further $600m this year.
Some of Acorn’s clients are renowned high street brands, such as: LEON, Brasserie Blanc and Z Hotels, Regal London, Galliard and Frogmore.
NIBC Bank is the platform’s first client in the Netherlands.
Acorn machine’s team now consists of almost 100 people and in the short term expects to add another 50 people across growth and operations, engineering, machine learning and data science.
Since its inception, Acorn OakNorth has secured $576 million from several investors.
The group was founded by Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, following the “challenges they faced in securing debt finance from high street banks” for their previous business, Copal Amba.