Israeli Challenger Bank First Digital Bank Raises US$120m Series A16. December 2021
AI-based Israeli digital bank First Digital Bank has secured US$120 million in a Series A equity round.
The 2019-founded digital bank raised the funds from investors including the Swiss wealth management group Julius Baer, the Japanese financial conglomerate SBI and the china-based technology company Tencent, a statement from First Digital Bank said.
The round values the company at US$320 million, and follows a US$65 million seed investment by founder Amnon Shashua, who is also the founder and CEO of autonomous mobility company Mobileye. Shashua also participated in the Series A round and remains the majority shareholder of First Digital Bank.
Other investors include US private equity firm West Coast Equity Partners, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Provident Fund and Singapore’s Far East Ventures.
The bank is the first to receive a banking licence in Israel in over 43 years, the statement said. It is currently in the pilot stage and expects to see a soft launch early next year. The bank also has plans to expand to international markets.
“This vote of confidence in our vision by global technology and financial leaders, fuels our long-term strategic plans to transform the banking world, first in Israel and then globally.
I firmly believe that AI technology, that is currently transforming significant parts of our lives, can be the key to resolving the financial struggles faced by so many families worldwide. We thank our new partners for their trust and look forward to building future strategic collaborations,”
Shashua said about the fundraise.
First Digital Bank aims to provide private banking solutions to households through its proprietary AI tools and technologies, including cash flows, budgeting, credit, savings, and investments.
The Series A comes in the backdrop of surging levels of fintech funding in Israel. Over US$2 billion was invested in Israeli fintech companies through venture capital and private equity deals in the first half of 2021, beating the previous record of US$1.79 billion in 2019.
Featured image: Unsplash (edited)
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