Starling Bank has achieved unicorn status after its latest funding found raised £272 million.

The series D funding round was led by Fidelity Management and Research with contribution from the Qatar Investment Authority, Railpen and Millennium Management.

The digital bank’s latest fundraising takes its valuation past the crucial £1 billion criteria that defines a unicorn.

Starling has said it will use the additional funds to expand its lending and growth in Europe, while also supporting its merger and acquisition efforts.

In October 2020, Starling Bank announced its first profit and early indications suggestion it will at least double those numbers in 2021. It has seen considerable growth since its launch, reaching more than 1.26 million retail current accounts, more than 300,000 business accounts and more than £3 billion help in credit.

”Customers now expect a fairer, smarter and more human alternative to the banks of the past, and that is what we are giving them at Starling as we continue to grow and add new products and services.”

Anne Boden MBE, founder and CEO of Starling Bank