SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund’s race to back innovative companies around the world continues. CNBC reports that British SMB online lender OakNorth recently secured $440 million in an investment round led by the Japanese venture capital firm.
$390 million came from the Vision Fund with Clermont providing the remaining capital, according to the outlet. This investment puts OakNorth at a $2.8 billion post-money valuation, higher than any other private fintech group in Europe.
"We decided that, with (SoftBank's) capital, and with their network, that we would be able to significantly expand the growth plans we have for the business."
"We decided that, with (SoftBank's) capital, and with their network, that we would be able to significantly expand the growth plans we have for the business," Rishi Khosla, co-founder and chief executive of OakNorth, told CNBC over the phone.
"Aligned with our mission to support the financing needs of growth SMEs across the globe, we thought SoftBank... would be a really good investor to have alongside our existing strong investors."
OakNorth’s plans are to use the funding for a U.S. expansion, focusing on licensing its AI-enabled technology platform to banks in other countries.
Khosla dismisses any chatter of a near-term IPO. "The whole question is, 'Why go public?' Is it to raise capital, is to raise profile, is it to give existing shareholders liquidity?" he said.
"At the moment, we don't feel like we have any of those drivers knocking on our door."