Australia’s Judo Bank Secures $250 Million Through Latest Equity Round & Achieves Unicorn Status

Australia-based SME challenger bank Judo Bank announced on Thursday it raised $250 million through its latest equity at a post-money valuation to more than $1 billion, which the bank reports has lifted it into an exclusive club of local unicorns and showing the support of existing investors despite the risks COVID-19 present to business banking.

Founded in 2016, Judo stated it is challenging the “one size fits all” approach of its much larger competitors because it believes every business is unique and should be treated that way. Judo has 55 bankers serving 650 customers, and has made $1.6 billion in loans and taken $1.5 billion of deposits.

We prioritize time with each and every one of our customers to build an unrivaled understanding of every aspect of their business and find solutions that are genuinely right for them, in a timeframe that meets their needs.”

Judo also revealed that it has now raised a total of $770 million in equity over three rounds. The new shares were placed at a higher price than the second, $400 million funding round in the middle of last year, Judo noted, valuing it at “well over” $1 billion inclusive of the new equity. The bank did not disclose its valuation at the second round.

Speaking about the bank’s growth and development, Co-Founder of Judo Bank, David Hornery, stated that Judo had “one of the strongest capitalized tier-1 ratios in Australia but did not reveal the total number. He further noted that the bank would become profitable in the “very near term.”

Judo further explained that in addition to the equity, it has received a combined $800 million in debt funding from Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse. Judo added that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has drawn an additional $500 million from the Australian federal government through the Australian business securitization fund and structured finance supported fund.

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