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OakNorth's Valentina Kristensen: "We're not coming to the United States to replicate what we're doing in the United Kingdom."

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on.


U.K.-based digital bank OakNorth Holdings Ltd. received a total of $440 million last month, including a $390 million investment from the Vision Fund of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and the rest from the Singapore-based Clermont Group.


Only two years old and already profitable, OakNorth has carved out a unique path by making much more consequential loans to small and medium enterprises, compared to players like Ant Financial Services Group, PayPal Credit or Kabbage.


What makes OakNorth’s offering compelling to other banks is Acorn, its cloud-based technology that allows banks to gather data and insights about small businesses. OakNorth’s latest round leaves it at a $2.8 billion valuation, making it Europe’s most valuable technology startup.

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