In this episode of The Scale Lab, we deconstruct the entrepreneurial journey of Ali Niknam – the founder & CEO of bunq. Together with Ali and our hosts – Constantijn and Joe – we go back in time to the roots of bunq and Ali’s beginnings as a founder. We further discuss the bunq culture and the company’s plans for the future. Listen in to find out how bunq managed to raise $228 million and reach a $1.9 billion valuation.

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Ali Niknam –  founder & CEO of bunq

Ali Niknam (1981), born in Canada but of Iranian descent, set up his first company when he was just 16 years old. In his early twenties, he founded TransIP, the biggest domain name and web hosting provider in the Netherlands. In 2012 he set out to change the banking industry radically and founded bunq. Ali managed to get the first European banking permit in over 35 years. He set out to radically change the traditional banking industry and, as its sole investor, invested €98.7M in bunq.

In a deal with British private equity firm Pollen Street Capital, bunq has raised €193 million, and the company’s valuation soars to €1.6 billion, as of July 2021. As part of the deal, bunq acquired Capitalflow Group, a privately held Irish lending company with strong ties to the Irish community.

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