GCV portfolio company and SME challenger bank, B-North, has raised over £1m as it moves closer to obtaining regulatory approval.
B-North teamed up with Growth Capital Ventures (GCV), to announce the fundraise, which is part of a £20m series A fundraising round designed to give B-North the necessary capital to finalise its banking licence process.
Prior to the latest raise, B-North had completed two fundraising rounds with the help of GCV which resulted in a combined worth of £6.9 million.
Tapping into the UK SME lending market which has a stock of over £150 billion with the help of these raises, Manchester-based B-North will deliver loans of between £500,000 and £5m and is built upon the premise of operating regional ‘lending pods’.
These lending pods include underwriters, valuers, and account managers, across the UK to facilitate a vastly improved borrowing experience and to build genuine face-to-face relationships with growing businesses and the brokers which support them.
Teamed with the latest in cloud- based technology, B-North aims to deliver finance up to ten times faster than the market standard.
Craig Peterson, GCV Chief Operating Officer said:
“This fundraise has created a rare and attractive opportunity to own a stake in a business that’s about to bring to market a technology-driven UK bank focused on providing finance to scale-ups and SMEs.
“The levelling up of the UK economy simply cannot be achieved in the current financial landscape and I am very confident that B-North and its unique regional bank model will be an important addition to the supply side of credit to UK SMEs.”
“Getting more funds to high-growth SMEs will be vital as the UK attempts to reinvigorate an economy that has been damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. SMEs account for around 60% of private sector employment and have been the major driver of job growth over the past ten years.”
In a recent interview webinar with the B-North founders, David Broadbent, CFO, said
“The banking licence is a very valuable asset. It gives us access to the UK retail deposit market as a source of funding, and that’s a very big market in the UK, worth £1.3 trillion.
“It is quite a rare asset at the same time, with official statistics released by the PRA who issue banking licences stating that only 31 companies have been invited to submit their application, yet 110 companies overall have started the banking licence process.”
Having raised over £1.2m and exceeded its initial target of £500,000, the current Series A Bridge Round is open for investment to new and existing investors until the 30th October 2020, when the round closes.
Investors who would like to participate in the current investment round can do so by visiting the Growth Capital Ventures co-investment platform.
Alternatively you can download a copy of the investment memorandum here.