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Varo ventures past the one million customer milestone as it prepares to become a nationally-chartered bank

Mobile banking solution Varo has come a long way since its $45m Series B round in January 2018. Since then it has scaled to having over one million customers and is now angling towards becoming a nationally-chartered bank by the beginning of 2020.

CEO Colin Walsh made the announcement when speaking with Bank Innovation. The news comes after the San Francisco-based startup crossed another milestone in September last year by being granted a preliminary approval for a national bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

It is now seeking the approval to get the full licence from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which Varo hopes to get during the first half of next year.

Varo offers checking and savings accounts as well as installment loans.

Challenger banks have attracted a lot of investment around the globe since 2014 when the sector only attracted $150.9m. However, that number jumped considerably over the next few years, landing at $1.97bn in 2018, according to FinTech Global’s data. And in the first half of 2019, challenger banks attracted $1.54bn all over the world.

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