B-North raises £2m ahead of launch

B-North, the Manchester-based firm building a small business lending bank for the UK, has secured in excess of £2 million of fundraising from new and existing investors through Crowdcube and Growthfunders, adding to the £4.2 million raised in previous rounds.

This follows the announcement in December that B-North had selected Newcastle Strategic Solutions to provide its deposit-taking solution, as it moves towards a scheduled launch in the first half of 2020.

The new fundraise will allow B-North to continue the planned expansion of its workforce and infrastructure. Lending solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be initiated through the establishment of regional ‘lending pods’, the first of which is expected to open in Manchester in the second quarter.

B-North’s proposed regional pod model and cloud banking technology will allow it to lend up to 10 times faster than other banks in order to help SMEs grow and develop.

Co-founder and chief executive Jonathan Thompson said: “The strength of investor response is testament to the B-North offering and the quality and efficiency of lending that we can deliver to help SMEs fulfil their potential, thereby driving the UK economy forward.”

In September, B-North announced that its cloud-based system would be jointly run by nCino and Mambu, the first time that both providers have integrated their solutions for business lending.

In the third quarter last year, B-North was invited by the regulator to submit its application for a banking licence, following positive feedback on its business model. It also appointed Ron Emerson, first chair of the British Business Bank, as its chairman.

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