OakNorth, a UK-based fintech startup, has successfully secured $440 million through its latest investment round, which was led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.
Launched in 2015 by Rich Khosla and Joel Perlman, OakNorth claims to be Europe’s fastest-growing fintech company by assets and valuation. The company explained that it provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance to established British businesses. Its clients include nurseries, hotels, care homes, private equity firms, bars, restaurants, tech companies, security businesses, property developers/investors, and professional services companies. In addition to business lending, OakNorth also offers a range of FSCS-protected savings accounts for individuals and businesses.
“OakNorth was created to help the UK’s growth businesses and entrepreneurs reach their potential by providing them with bespoke, no-nonsense debt finance solutions.”
According to Reuters, Khosla stated that the company is planning to use the funds to expand its services in the U.S. before considering further overseas opportunities. Khosla also explained:
“Small businesses are the key growth driver in most economies and that’s true in the UK. The fundamentals are absolutely good over a period of time. If you tar a whole segment with the same brush I think that’s incredibly unfair. You’ll always have good businesses and bad businesses.”
Softbank’s Vision Fund notably led the round with a $390 million investment. The round brings OakNorth’s valuation to round $2.8 billion. Khosla added:
“SoftBank always has a very large vision for businesses they get involved in and for us we have a relentless focus on small businesses. For us to fulfill that on a global basis having an investor who shares that vision is really important.”