German neobank N26 is forecasting a 30% increase in revenue in 2023 — alongside a sharp uptick in net losses due to spending on regulatory compliance.
Net losses at the neobank accelerated in 2022, increasing by 24% to €213.4m, from €172m in 2021. In 2021, losses increased 14%, up from €151m in 2020. N26 stands out from its other neobanking peers — including Revolut, Starling and Monzo — which have all decreased losses in the last two years.
At the same time, N26’s gross revenue grew 24% to €236.3m in 2022 as a result of increased customer activity, the company said in a statement. In 2021, N26 generated gross revenue of €182.4m.
The Berlin-based fintech, last valued at $9bn in October 2021, has been wrestling with restrictions imposed by the German financial watchdog BaFin for two years. The regulator first fined N26 €4.25m in 2021 for failing to install effective money-laundering controls and capped its customer numbers to 50k a month, compared with 170k previously.
BaFin is now loosening the restrictions slightly, allowing the fintech to accept 60k new account holders a month from December 1, the company confirmed to Sifted.
N26 said it invested €80m in 2022 into teams and technology to help it combat financial crime.
The company did not share its active customer numbers — the metric used by competitors — in its results. Its “revenue relevant” customers (classed as those who have gone through the fintech’s KYC process and have an open account with N26) increased from 300k to 4m in 2022.
N26 has been refocusing on its continental European markets since it exited from the UK in 2020 and the US in 2021. Last month, the company announced that it would also be leaving Brazil, where it had been testing its app since November 2021.
Earlier this year, the fintech laid off 4% of its workforce, citing a reassessment of priorities and a need to restructure teams, leading to some roles becoming redundant.
By the end of 2023, the neobank projects that its gross revenues will climb to €300m, and it expects to halve losses to €100m. It expects to become profitable on a monthly basis in the second half of 2024.
N26 also announced that it has partnered with Berlin fintech Upvest to launch a much-anticipated investment product — stock trading and ETFs — next year, after significant delays. It follows other European neobanks including Monzo and Revolut in its move into investments.
This piece has been updated to clarify that N26's gross revenue grew 24% to €236.3m in 2022.