Leading Estonian banking group to invest £4.455m for a 9.9% stake in the company
Growth Capital Ventures’ portfolio company B-North – the Manchester-based firm building a regional SME lending bank for the UK – will receive a £4.455m investment from LHV Group when B-North receives its banking licence from the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. The commitment from the major Estonian banking and financial services company marks an important step in B-North’s Series A fundraise.
The investment from LHV adds to B-North’s growing list of high-profile backers, including Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Channel 4 Ventures, as well as a series of successful crowdfunding rounds, securing investment from members of the public.
LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV’s banking services are used by 269,000 clients, and pension funds managed by LHV have 179,000 active clients. LHV’s UK branch offers banking infrastructure to 140 international financial services companies, via which LHV’s payment services reach clients around the world.
The investment announcement comes as B-North accelerates towards securing its banking licence, and completion of a £20 million Series A fundraise. The firm aims to disrupt the UK’s £150 billion SME lending market by establishing the first truly regional lending bank in 150 years. Through its network of regional ‘lending pods’ combined with a state-of-the-art cloud-based banking system, B-North aims to deliver loans to business 10x faster than the industry standard. The first of B-North’s pods are expected to open in Manchester later in 2021.
Jonathan Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO of B-North said: “We are delighted to welcome LHV as one of our lead investors. It is great to have the opportunity to work alongside a business that shares our belief in the importance of backing growing enterprises – and one that has a strong track record for doing so.
“LHV’s commitment will form part of the £20m capital raise we need to secure before being granted our banking licence. This investment from LHV is a significant boost to our capital raise and shows real momentum and investor appetite for our vision for business lending in the UK and is the latest step in our journey from B-North to Bank North.”
You can read more here about B-North and how they are creating a regional business bank to provide finance to UK businesses in a timely, professional & frictionless way.