Banking on Digital: NUMBER26 Closes $2m Seed Round with Earlybird, AS P&S, Redalpine

By David Knight |

Banking startup NUMBER26 – which offers what it describes as ‘Europe’s most modern current account’ – has closed a $2 million (€1.47m) seed round involving Earlybird, Axel Springer Plug and Play, Redalpine and various financial service experts.

The Berlin-based startup – which was founded by Austrians Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal in February 2013 – provides users a free account for smartphones with MasterCard inclusive and no fees. Payments can be tracked instantly.

Stalf, also the CEO of NUMBER26, said: “Banking needs to change; we are glad to make better banking a reality through the help of our investors.”

Tayenthal, meanwhile, who acts as CFO, said: “We reinvent banking – modern, simple and transparent. European banks lack innovation – online banking often resembles the Internet of the 90s, mobile apps sometimes don’t even exist and hidden fees are pervasive.”

NUMBER26 focuses on mobile accessibility – for example users can lock and unlock their card with one click in the app, and receive phone notifications for all transactions. The accounts are offered together with a German partner bank that holds the required banking license, meaning users are protected by the German deposit insurance up to €100,000.

“Transfers get simple and intuitive, finally. Money can be sent to friends in one’s address book with just one click, for instance via email, Facebook or text message,” said Earlybird partner Christian Nagel.

NUMBER26 currently employs 11 people, and is part of a wave of startups looking to disrupt the banking industry, which up till now has been slow to react to advances in technology.