Neobank Volt one step closer to IPO after $70m equity funding round

Neobank Volt one step closer to IPO after $70m equity funding round

'Neobank' Volt is inching closer to its planned IPO following an oversubscribed $70 million Series C equity funding round.

The Series C, which was oversubscribed by $10 million beyond its original target of $60 million, lifts the bank's total funding to $100 million in equity.

Volt now intends to launch a Series D equity funding round ahead of a planned listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in late 2020.

The Series D round will focus on investors in the UK and the Middle East, adding to existing partners in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The neobank, which received Australia's first retail bank licence since 1981 back in early 2019, recently launched its first deposit product and aims to have a full range of consumer deposit and loan products in the market by the end of 2020.

Volt CEO and co-founder Steve Weston (pictured) says the Series C positions the company well for future product additions for the SME space and its planned listing on the ASX.

"The high levels of interest we are receiving from potential banking partners validates our platform-based business model and the neobanking sector as a whole," says Weston.

"Key to our ultimate global scale is the development of our platform strategy. We are now raising more capital to invest in the development, integration and onboarding of partners that will open up new customer bases with both Volt-branded and white-labelled banking products."

Volt is not the only 'neobank' aiming to disrupt the traditional banking sector; Xinja, 86400, and Archa are all hot on Volt's heels.

Xinja received its full banking licence in September 2019, with founder Eric Wilson saying at the time that the company is committed to disrupting the ageing banking sector in Australia.

"It's time Australia's very old banking model was disrupted. We are 100 per cent digital and we want people to have a real alternative to the incumbent banks. We want to give customers a real choice to be able to be with a bank that looks after them," said Wilson.

86 400, named after the number of seconds in a day, received its ADI licence in July 2019, and launched its consumer banking products nationally in September 2019.

Those interested in the app do not even have to switch their bank accounts to 86 400; users can connect and view their existing bank accounts, plus their credit cards and home loans, all within the app.

Volt's progress comes as co-founder and CEO of Twitter and founder and CEO of simplified payments system Square Jack Dorsey has accused the big banks of being anti-competitive.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review, Square told a Senate select committee on financial and regulatory technology that it had faced "instances of anti-competitive behaviour from a number of the incumbent operators" as it launched its payment system in Australia in 2015.

At the time Square reportedly faced frustration from the big banks as Square's payments system took advantage of changed regulations surrounding payments systems which allowed PIN numbers to be entered directly on glass screens.

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