Australia’s Judo Bank, that provides loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), has raised A$230 million ($147 million) in a new funding round from existing investors including Bain CapitalCredit, Myer Family Investments, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, according to the company’s announcement.
Its other shareholders including SPF Investment Management, OPTrust, and Tikehau Capital also participated in this round.
The funding, that follows a A$400 million ($247 million) Series B investment in 2019, brings the company’s total capital raised to A$750 million over three rounds to date.
The current round of funding pegs the valuation of Judo Bank at about $1 billion, thereby making it the latest “unicorn” in the country.
“The support we’ve received for our third round, at an increased valuation to our second round capital raise last year, underscores the confidence and commitment our existing investors have in Judo, particularly at a time of extreme volatility in global markets, that has impacted all bank valuations,” Judo Bank co-founder and co-CEO, David Hornery said.
Founded in 2016, Judo Bank was set up to make it easier for Australian businesses to get the funding they need. It has been granted a full banking license as an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) that has allowed it to launch full deposit-taking capabilities.
The neobank claims to be serving 650 customers, and has made reportedly made $1.6 billion in loans and taken $1.5 billion of deposits.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Judo secured A$500 million from the federal government through the Australian business securitisation fund and structured finance support fund in April.
Statistics from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman show that SMEs create around 7 million jobs, contributing to 67 per cent of total employment and 57 per cent of Australia’s GDP, which makes the sector the backbone of the Australian economy.