Photo credit: Number26,

published 24 Jun 2014 by Eva Thalhammer 2 minutes 26 seconds to read

Banking startup Number26 secures $2M

Seed investment will help to develop free digital banking solution

Axel Springer Plug and Play investment

Activity charges and card fees are a necessary evil of each bank account. Moreover, keeping track of your money transactions while you are on the move can be a tough task. This is why Number26, founded by two Austrians, created a mobile bank service that should be free and easy to use. Recently, they received a two million dollars seed investment from the two venture capitals Ealrybird and Redalpine, as well as Axel Springer Plug and Play and several financial service experts. talked to Robin Haak, Manager of Portfolio & Operations at Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator and Number26 co-founder Maximilian Tayenthal about the deal.

Benefiting from networks in Germany and Switzerland

Currently in testing phase, the Berlin-based startup will further develop their digital banking solution with the help of the two million seed capital. “[B]anking is a very complex field, the regulatory set-up costs some money as well. It’s a little more complex than creating an online shop. A fair part of our funding will also help us to acquire the first customers,” Tayenthal said and added: “We are heavily investing into growth and currently expanding our team, especially front end and back end development but also business people.”

Next to the money also the investors’ network will be of benefit to the startup. “Earlybird has a very big fund in the background, so they are also good for the next funding rounds,” Robin Haak from Axel Springer Plug and Play told and further: “Redalpine has a great network in Switzerland that could be valuable in the future for a banking product.”

While Maximilian Tayenthal is optimistic about the newly gained opportunities, he is certain that the German accelerator will help scaling their business too: “Axel Springer Plug and Play has great media power in the background that we will benefit from in the future.”

Reinventing the bank account

Founded in 2013 under the name Papayer and as a bank service for teenagers, the founders switched to fully fledged bank accounts to enter a bigger market. “Number26 is taking on a big topic, reinventing the current account,” said Tayenthal.

The Austrian cofounders Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal aim to make the digital banking process easy to use for everyone. Their service offers a free account for smartphones, including a MasterCard, and enables its users to keep track of all their payments. Number26 aims to provide a secure environment for money transactions and is protected by deposit insurance thanks to connecting their service to a German partner bank. Moreover, one click on the app is enough to lock or unlock your card.

Currently, the startup is in development phase and if you are interested in being one of the first users you can sign in here. “Banking is one of the fields most eligible to be disrupted. The business model is very scalable and we are looking forward to their product,“ Haak explained.