Atom Bank plans to raise $131m in funding next year

Atom Bank, a UK-based challenger bank backed by Spanish finance giant BBVA, plans to raise £100m ($131m) in the first quarter of 2017.

The Durham-based startup secured a banking licence last year and was one of the first of the UK’s challenger banks to begin offering savings accounts through its iOS app in April.

To date the company has raised more than $166m in funding with BBVA investing in its £82m ($107m) venture round in 2015.

The investment gave the Spanish bank a reported 29.5% share in the startup, which it is expected to maintain as part of the new funding.

BBVA is one of the most actively engaged traditional banks in the fintech space having previously acquired digital banking startups Simple and Holvi.

The firm has preferential rights to buy additional shares and block rival banks from buying stock in Atom for three years. It also holds two seats on the company’s board.

The reports of Atom Bank’s planned 2017 round follows news that rival startup bank Monzo (formerly Mondo) intends to raise between £15m ($19.4m) and £20m ($26m) as it seeks to have the restrictions on its newly-awarded banking licence lifted.

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