German neobank N26 is looking to make an acquisition in the FinTech space as speculation builds that it is readying an IPO.
Privately held N26 is currently valued at around $3.5 billion. The FinTech’s CEO and Co-founder Maximilian Tayenthal told CNBC on Thursday (Jan. 28) that his bank has started looking around for a possible takeover target.
“We have started to look, and we are still looking, opportunistically at some interesting targets,” Tayenthal said. “It could be players that are strong in certain areas, think about trading, think about KYC (know your customer). There could be other FinTechs, challenger players in our space that have a good customer base.”
The company also announced that the bank, which now serves seven million customers around the world, plans to hire an additional 200 employees and expand into Brazil, where it recently obtained a banking license.
Last week, N26 announced it had hired Dr. Jan Kemper as its new CFO, fueling speculation that the company was planning an IPO. Kemper, the former CFO of Zalando SE, was a key player in engineering that company’s IPO on the Frankfurt exchange in 2014.
Tayenthal told CNBC that N26 has no immediate plans for an IPO.
Founded in 2013, N26 has roughly 1,500 employees and maintains offices in Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Vienna, New York and São Paulo, according to its website. Its U.S. banking services are offered in partnership with Axos Bank.
In May 2020, N26 said it raised $100 million in an extension to its Series D round, bringing the total amount raised to approximately $800 million. The company said it was valued at around $3.5 billion.
The bank’s investors include Insight Venture Partners, GIC, Tencent, Allianz X, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital, Greyhound Capital and Battery Ventures.