Türkiye/UK fintech Colendi has secured the green light from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) to launch Turkey’s first digital deposit bank.
Almost 14 months to the day since acquiring London’s blockchain settlements and payments provider SETL, Colendi now counts some 18 million customers and has arguably established itself as Türkiye's leading fintech. The firm has inked major partnerships with Migros, the largest multi-format grocery retailer in Türkiye, and Turkcell, the country’s largest telecom operator. The recent regulatory approval arrives on the heels of Colendi's acquisitions of various licenses, spanning e-money, asset management, capital market, and insurance brokerage, over the last 24 months.
Launched in 2021, Colendi claims its payment business has grown more than 40x and its credit arm has grown more than 10x, accounting for more than $300 million in financial transactions via 1.5+ million credit users. The firm also lays claim to being the first brokerage firm to offer trading of international stocks in Turkish Lira, alongside trading in commodities, precious metals, and local stocks. Now armed with a banking licence, the firm is targeting 50 million customers regionally and will be able to receive deposits and lend from its own balance sheet in a secure regulatory environment.
"We are thrilled to obtain authorisation for the establishment of a digital deposit bank, ushering in a new era of accessible banking for our platforms and users,” commented Coledni CEO and co-founder Bülent Tekmen. “Colendi’s business model is to work with first-class organisations and enable them to reach their retail and SME customers to offer financial products within a regulated environment.”
Colendi is backed by Re-Pie Asset Management, StartupFon, Boğaziçi Ventures, Aslanoba Capital, Next Ventures, and Deniz Devrim Cengiz, and raised $30 million in a Series A investment round bringing the firm's total disclosed amount raised to $70.5 million and according to the company is currently valued at $750 million.
Tech.eu spoke to Tekmen earlier this year about scaling up embedded fintech and establishing joint ventures as a go-to-market strategy.
Lead image: engin akyurt