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Peter Thiel-backed banking startup Number26 rebrands as N26 and becomes an official bank

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John Applebaum
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Number26, a Peter Thiel-backed mobile banking startup that s setting out to create the bank account of the future, has finally received its banking license, giving the company full regulatory approval to operate across the European Union off its own steam.

The company has also announced that it s changing its name to N26.Founded out of Berlin, Germany in 2013 by Maximilian Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf, N26 offers mobile-first bank accounts, similar to BankMobile or Simple in the U.S., that can be opened within eight minutes of applying.

Originally only available in Germany and Austria, the service later expanded across the EU into six more markets and today counts more than 200,000 users.The company has only been able to operate so far due to its partnership with Germany-based financial services company Wirecard, which has its own banking license and is regulated in Germany.The new company structure runs roughly like this: the overarching N26 Group is comprised of Number26 GmbH and its fully-owned subsidiary N26 Bank GmbH, the latter of which is what gained the German banking license that enables the company to operate across the European Union.

From a branding perspective, the company will simply go under the name N26.

Now that N26 has its own banking license, issued by the the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin and the European Central Bank, the company has more freedom to operate off its own volition and improve the underlying structure and technology across the banking spectrum.

The license will enable us to bring additional innovative products to market, starting in the next few weeks, explained Markus Gunter, CEO of the new N26 Bank operation.

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John Applebaum
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