Merian Chrysalis Investment Company has taken a £19m position in challenger bank Starling, as it recognises the "considerable change" going on in financial services.
According to an announcement updating the stock exchange this morning (13 February), Merian Chrysalis will contribute towards Starling's series C funding round, subject to regulatory approval.
Merian led the round, in which Starling raised £75m, participating alongside existing backer Harald McPike, a Bahamas-based hedge fund investor, who invested a further £25m, according to the Financial Times.
The investment trust, co-managed by small and mid-cap-managers Richard Watts and Nick Williamson, praised the bank for its "impressive and efficient platform" and its ability to offer new innovative services to its customers in the future including offering 'banking as a service' - allowing other financial services players to use its technology.
Merian added that since the launch of Starling's app in 2017, it had seen "strong take up of its products and services".
Starling plans to use the capital to accelerate its penetration into current markets, while enabling expansion across Europe.
British technology entrepreneur Anne Boden founded Starling in 2014.
Watts adds: We have been very impressed by Starling's growth plans and the infrastructure it has developed over the last few years.
"We believe there is a significant opportunity for the business to leverage its capabilities, particularly to expand in the SME market. We are excited to be supporting Starling's ambition to transform the wider banking sector."
The trust, which began dealing in November 2018, is the first closed-ended fund to come out of Merian Global Investors - the boutique renamed after Richard Buxton led the management buyout of Old Mutual Global Investors.
It looks primarily at unquoted companies.