Large financing round: Solarisbank receives 60 million euros

Photo: Roland Folz, CEO Sola­ris Bank
1. July 2020

Hamburg — Sola­ris­bank has secu­red the highest finan­cing round in its history, amoun­ting to 60 million euros. The post-money valua­tion increa­ses to 320 million euros as a result of the capi­tal increase. “Since we were not under any time pres­sure, the Corona crisis did not really affect our funding process,” CEO Roland Folz told us. “Due to high demand from inves­tors, we actually raised more capi­tal than origi­nally planned.”

With the funding behind it, Sola­ris­bank — which has grown exclu­si­vely orga­ni­cally since its foun­ding in 2016 — can even consider larger tran­sac­tions. Sola­ris could thus take over Wire­card Bank AG, at least in parts.

Asked about this scena­rio, Sola­ris­bank CEO Folz told us yester­day, “It’s never good news when a compe­ti­tor gets into trou­ble. Because what ulti­m­ately makes compa­nies better is compe­ti­tion.” Howe­ver, it is true that “Wire­card Bank’s services are simi­lar to ours. Depen­ding on how things deve­lop, we could ther­e­fore certainly be some­thing like the natu­ral alter­na­tive for many of the competitor’s customers.”

The lead inves­tor is venture capi­ta­list Holtz­brinck Ventures, which has not yet been one of the share­hol­ders. That a German VC specia­list is the lead inves­tor in such a large round (and even more so, after not having been invol­ved at all before) is, to our recoll­ec­tion, rare in the German fintech sector. But it shows that local venture capi­tal play­ers no longer auto­ma­ti­cally shy away from larger rounds. Early­bird also contin­ued to play a lively role in N26’s most recent mega-fundings.

In addi­tion to Holtz­brinck, Vulcan Capi­tal (the invest­ment arm of the foun­da­tion of the late Micro­soft co-foun­­der Paul Allen), another Ameri­can VC called Storm Ventures, and the Samsung Cata­lyst Fund, which belongs to the Korean tech­no­logy group of the same name, are also new on board. Of the legacy inves­tors, Yabeo, BBVA, SBI Group, ABN Amro, Global Brain, Hegus and Lake­star went along. Sola­ris­bank head of stra­tegy Layla Qassim: “We had a slight over­hang of stra­te­gic share­hol­ders so far. That’s why we focu­sed a bit more on finan­cial inves­tors this time around.”

Inte­res­t­ing: The press release menti­ons that Deut­sche Bank supported the round as “private place­ment agent”. “In our first two finan­cing rounds, we got by without an accom­pany­ing bank. This time we deli­bera­tely chose a diffe­rent path — because: A company at our stage can use good friends. And with Deut­sche Bank we have now found such a friend,” says CEO Folz. The obvious ques­tion as to whether this also means that a decis­ion has alre­ady been made as to which finan­cial insti­tu­tion could one day accom­pany Sola­ris­bank to the stock exch­ange, was not answe­red by Folz with the equally obvious sentence: “Of course, it will be Deut­sche Bank”. Instead, he empha­si­zed that an IPO was not on the agenda for the next two years in any case, and that it was only “one conceiva­ble option among seve­ral” for the time after that.

What is to happen now with the 60 million euros? ‑Capture the losses expec­ted at least for this year and next Drive Euro­pean expan­sion. Howe­ver, Sola­ris­bank (employees curr­ently: 310) intends to conti­nue to do this prima­rily from Berlin; foreign offices are to be opened only in isola­ted cases.


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