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Atom Bank, one of the UK’s challenger banks, has secured a £50 million investment in a new funding round led by BBVA. Atom bank partnered with a fintech provider last year, to migrate its functions to blockchain platform – Vault.
Atom Bank, one of a few challenger banks in the United Kingdom, has just successfully secured a £50 Million investment fund from banking giant BBVA and a few other major players. The bank which has a specific focus on a certain demographic now has an unofficial valuation of about £530 million – which is roughly $660 million at the moment.
Challenger banks, relatively small and somewhat recent retail banks in the U.K. – as their name implies – are set up to challenge some of the other major banks, usually doing this by pursuing a particular niche, which is sometimes overlooked by most of the major banks. Some of these banks are established as a “discharge” from these major banking establishments like the UK’s Big Four.
Atom Bank CEO, Mark Mullen, has expressed a commitment to its customers as well as all products and services and also says that the bank will be undergoing substantial recruitment to ensure that there is a wider variety of functions offered by the institution. According to him:
“What’s important to customers is good products, good service and good value so that’s where we’ve spent the majority of our time and energy. We’re growing our team here in the North East and will add 50 new roles this year to help us expand the range of products and services we offer, starting with Instant Access savings in the autumn. More than ever, we are convinced of the importance of Atom’s role to drive positive change in UK banking.”
Bridget Rosewell, Atom Bank’s Chairwoman, has also spoken about the bank’s common plan with its investors to “disrupt” the current financial clime. She states:
“This latest raise recognizes the enormous progress that we have made on our journey to disrupt UK banking, and is a clear signal of our investor’s support for our future plans.”
Last year, BBVA led a funding round of about £149 million ($206 million at the time) and are in the lead for this one too. Other investors include Toscafund and Woodford Patient Capital Trust.
Atom is Pro-Blockchain
One of the ways these challenger banks seek to be differentiated from traditional institutions is to use modern financial technology for their core functions. In some cases, this involves operating online for the most part and in other cases like Atom bank, blockchain might be employed.
It was announced back in November 2018, that Atom Bank had entered a multi-year partnership with Thought Machine, a fintech provider, to use the latter’s Vault platform for the bank’s business functions.
This partnership, in essence, seeks to ensure that all of Atom’s banking technology is handled by Vault, Thought Machine’s blockchain platform. Atom has always aimed to host all of its operations online and using a blockchain platform like vault would be an even better alternative. However, there is currently no indication that any digital assets will be supported.