While no one is ready to call Peter Thiel the new sugar daddy of European startups, it seems the famed entrepreneur and investor is at least giving the continent another look.
Thiel’s Valar Ventures announced today it has led a $10.6 million investment round for Berlin’s Number26. It’s Valar’s second investment in a European startup and comes just months after Thiel described Europe’s startup ecosystem as a “slacker with low expectations.”
Earlier this year, Valar participated in London-based TransferWise‘s $58 million round of funding. While that company focuses on international monetary transfers, Number26 is offering a full suite of banking services centered on smartphones.
Number26 launched in January in just Germany and Austria, where it already has 8,500 banking customers and a waiting list of 15,000. The company hopes to use the latest round to create a marketing campaign as well as eventually expanding to other countries.
The intriguing pitch by Number26 is that it lets users create a banking account in minutes from their smartphone. That account issues a traditional credit card, along with a range of services like push notifications for transactions on the account, and other financial management tools.
The account is free and also allows people to use the service in any country to pay without international fees or currency exchange fees.
Also participating in this round of funding: Swiss investor Daniel S. Aegerter and previous investors Earlybird and Redalpine.