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British digital lender hits $2.3B valuation in latest funding round

British digital lender ACORN OakNorth Holdings Ltd. secured a $2.3 billion valuation after raising $100 million in its latest funding round, the Financial Times reported Sept. 5.

Singapore's EDBI Pte Ltd. and GIC Pvt. Ltd. participated in the round, which would value the company at 170x its pre-tax profits of £10.6 million in 2017. ACORN OakNorth co-founder and CEO Rishi Khosla said the company would use the funds to boost its regulatory capital and to expand its licensing operations for its artificial loan assessment software outside the U.K.

ACORN OakNorth has already licensed its automated system to more than 10 other banks in the U.S., Europe and Asia, according to the report. The company anticipates handling $5 billion in loans for the banks through its platform by the end of 2018.

The company may also consider an IPO if it needs additional capital to support its rapid growth, Khosla said. The company secured a U.K. banking license in 2015 and has, so far, lent over $2.8 billion to more than 300-plus British companies.

Other investors in ACORN OakNorth include Singapore's Clermont Group, U.S.-based Coltrane Asset Management LP and Dutch lender NIBC Bank NV.