Penta, the German challenger bank account for SMEs, raises €7M Series A

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Penta, the German fintech startup that offers a digital bank account targeting SMEs, has raised €7 million in Series A funding. Backing the company once again is Inception Capital, with total funding now at €10 million since Penta was founded in May 2016.

Launched in Germany in December, and powered by Banking-as-a-Platform solarisBank (rather than holding a banking license of its own), Penta is designed to meet the banking needs of small to medium-sized businesses, including startups.

The premise is that SMEs are currently underserved by incumbent banks, including account opening being cumbersome and much more difficult than it should be and exorbitant fees charged for making payments or international money exchange.

Penta is also bringing some much-need innovation and features to the German business banking market.

One of those is multi-card support to make it easier to manage company expenses. Dubbed ‘Team Access,’ the recently launched feature lets business owners issue multiple MasterCards to employees who need to make purchases on a company’s behalf.

Each card is linked to a business’ Penta account but can have custom rules and permissions per card/employee, in terms of how much money can be spent and where. More broadly, the feature is designed to cut down the time and cost of expense management for SMEs.

Notably, I’m told that the Berlin-based challenger bank, which has already grown to a team of 40 and plans to get to 100 over the next year, is seeing 68 percent of new customers switching from their existing business bank account, with the remaining 40 percent newly incorporated businesses.

That suggest many German businesses aren’t satisfied with the banking status quo, even if they’ve already crossed the account opening hurdle. Specifically, I understand that multi-card support has been one of the main draw, the kind of feature that older banks with legacy software often struggle to deliver.





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