FinTech profile: OakNorth Bank, Europe's most valuable fintech
This week FinTech Magazine takes a closer look at Europe most valuable fintech, with a US$2.8bn evaluation, OakNorth Bank.
Founded: September 2015
Nof employees: 130
Founders: Rishi Khosla, Joel Perlman
Profit: £33.9mn (2018)
OakNorth Bank was founded in 2015 by Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman.
[Founders, Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman] [Image: Oaknorth]
The bank for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs
Before the creation of OakNorth, Khosla and Perlman founded Copal Amba, a rapidly growing company that struggled to get financing as it didn't have property to act as security. As the company continued to grow, Khosla and Perlman became aware that this was an issue faced by millions of companies across the UK. In 2014, they sold Copal Amba to Moody's Corporation. From this demand, OakNorth was born. OakNorth is designed to provide business and property loans predominantly for small and medium sized companies. OakNorth has offices in London, Manchester, Gurgaon and Bangalore. Since its creation, it has loaned over £3bn to users, with over 55,000 customers with savings accounts.
Deputy CEO and COO
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Did you know?
Earlier this year the company secured an $440mn investment. This is the largest investment of any fintech in European history, according to Fobes.
For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.
Upgrade launch new credit card with bitcoin rewards
Upgrade, a fintech company focused on providing credit for mainstream consumers, has launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card a new version of its Upgrade Card featuring bitcoin rewards. Under the new programme, users earn unlimited 1.5% bitcoin rewards on every purchase as they make payments.
The custody and trading platform for holding and selling bitcoin is provided by NYDIG and the card is a Visa Signature card, which includes benefits such as trip and baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.
The company offers credit lines from $500 to $25,000 with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card depending on your credit score. It works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Like other Upgrade credit cards, there are no monthly fees, late fees, or returned payment fees.
"Upgrade Card is already delivering over $3 billion in annualised credit to consumers," said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO at Upgrade. "Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade Card, plus the potential upside and fun of owning bitcoin."
Participating in the crypto economy
Upgrade isn’t the first company to announce a credit card with bitcoin rewards, but it’s the first one that is generally available. Anyone can apply with no waitlist, and start using their virtual card immediately until they get their physical card in the mail.
"Crypto rewards introduce cardholders to a new asset class that is increasingly part of a consumer's financial portfolio," said Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa. "Whether you're a crypto enthusiast or just getting started, programmes like the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card offer an engaging and low-risk way to participate in the crypto economy."
At the moment, you can’t do much with your bitcoins. You can choose to hold them or sell them. There’s no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for instance. If you choose to sell your rewards, there’s a 1.5% transaction fee.
This card is not currently available in all 50 states. Customers in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia can’t order an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at the moment.