Dubai-backed fintech start-up becomes a $1bn unicorn

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A Zurich-based fintech firm whose investors include Investment Corporation of Dubai and Josef Ackermann has raised additional money to value the company at more than $1 billion as it prepares to expand outside its main market of Germany.

Numbers Personal Finance raised $40 million to bring the total capital invested to almost $200 million, chief executive officer Martin Saidler said in an interview.

Numbers offers an app that enables users to manage their existing bank accounts in one place and to buy financial products.

The company has become a so-called unicorn by focusing mostly on private investors.

“Venture capital and private equity funds tend to have less patience. They get nervous when it takes longer for a start-up to earn money,” Saidler said in an interview.

Investment Corporation of Dubai, which invested in 2017, is an exception, he said.

In total, more than 50 individuals and families are invested in the company. Existing and new investors took part in the latest funding, Sadler said, while declining to name any. The company previously identified former Deutsche Bank AG head Ackermann and private banker Pierre Mirabaud as stakeholders.

Numbers is not profitable yet, though it aims to break even in two years, Sadler said. The fintech firm launched its app in 2014 in Germany and, starting next year, Numbers aims to establish Britain as its second main market.

“After that, we want to expand to other European countries,” Saidler said. He has no plans for a launch in the U.S.

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