The Startups 20: Starling Bank #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Startups 20: Starling Bank #StartUps


The Starling Bank story

It seems as if Anne Boden – the force of nature who founded Starling from scratch – was destined to run her own bank. After all, she had already run her school bank at the tender age of 11, and founded Starling after working in banking for decades.

Surprisingly though, banking was only a fall back option after her degree in chemistry and computer sciences at Swansea University, a safe choice that her mum persuaded her to apply for. Once she got into banking though, something about it clearly agreed with her, and she rose through the ranks and from bank to bank. Even then, she was focused on using tech to improve banking, helping to develop the UK’s same-day payments service (it previously took up to three days for your payment to reach someone else’s account).

However, the longer she worked in banking, the more her dissatisfaction grew. These big institutions were unable to change their services quickly enough to meet the needs of a new generation of consumers.

If Boden was going to make that happen, she would have to start her own bank. And so, in 2014, she quit her job and got started.

What followed will be familiar to most entrepreneurs – a long process of research and email sending as you try to get people interested in your idea. In Boden's case, this idea was a mobile-only digital bank that would take on the big boys, and offer a radically new banking experience.

Everything changed when Boden managed to get the attention of Austrian billionaire Harald McPike, who quickly agreed to provide the £48m that was needed to get Starling its banking licence, and to make a real market push from that point.

It was a bold call from McPike, but one that seems to be paying off, with Starling now having over 1.5 million customers all over the world – not to mention legions of fans happy to spread the word on social media.

In short, it’s truly flying.


October 25, 2020 at 08:16PM by Alec Hawley, Khareem Sudlow