UK challenger Kroo lands licence to build social bank
UK challenger bank Kroo has nailed a banking licence from the Bank of England, becoming the second firm to gain authorised bank status since the start of the year.
Kroo holds “authorised with restrictions” status, which gives the company a year to meet requirements set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
Until those requirements are met, it can only hold a total of £50,000 in deposits.
The firm raised £17.7 million in Series A funding earlier this month in a round led by Karlani Capital founder Rudy Karsan.
A social finance app with a debit Mastercard, Kroo hinges on the idea of making money less awkward, with capabilities such as bill-splitting.
Kroo said it will use the funding to support its “mobilisation phase” and grow its team ahead of a planned launch in early 2022.
The company teamed up with London-based digital banking provider Bugni Labs in May to drive its credit engine.
Kroo has also pledged to donate a percentage of profits to social causes, with CEO Andrea de Gottardo adding the bank will offer customers ways to “actively take part in making our world a better place”.
The firm has already launched a tree-planting referral scheme to offset carbon emissions, with the aim of planting 1 million trees.