UK-based social bank Kroo inks $24.5m as it plans to launch in early 2022

UK-based social bank Kroo raised £17.7m in Series A funding led by tech entrepreneur and Karlani Capital founder Rudy Karsan.

The company intends to use the funds to scale up operations, grow its team across engineering, marketing, product, compliance and customer service, and further develop its product offering and app ahead of launch in 2022.

Led by CEO Andrea de Gottardo, the main goal of Kroo is to remove the anxiety and awkwardness of financial interactions with friends and family. Kroo is building a new UK bank to allow its customers to participate in shared financial activity with each other and champion social causes that impact their world.

The company, which expects to launch in early 2022, will test its concept through a prepaid card offering, issued under the e-money licence of PayrNet Ltd, and innovative ways for people to track their personal and social finances – to create groups with friends, track spending, and split and pay bills quickly and securely. In addition, a tree-planting referral scheme has already been launched.

Kroo is currently in the process of securing a full banking license. As a regulated bank, it will be able to offer customers a current account, FSCS deposit protection and loans.

The startup is also promising a socially conscious ethos, pledging to donate a percentage of profits to social causes. A tree-planting referral scheme has already been launched, so that every time a customer successfully refers a friend, Kroo plants 20 trees with the aim of creating a forest of a million trees.

The company is applying for a full banking license and has built its own technology platform that is microservices-based and cloud-native.

Kroo CEO Andrea de Gottardo says, “We want to build the world’s greatest social bank: a bank dedicated to its customers and to the world we live in. We’re going to do more than just work with Kroo customers to improve their relationship with money and provide them with access to fair loans. We’re going to offer them ways to actively take part in making our world a better place, like carbon offsetting and a tree-planting referral programme.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, Karsan said, “The reason I’m excited about Kroo is that it has a concrete opportunity to dramatically change the way people feel about their bank, for good. Kroo has an exceptionally talented management team and a nimble tech stack that will enable the continuous delivery of banking features customers really care about. I’m confident Kroo is building a sustainable bank and am excited to support them on the next stage of their growth journey.”

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