£154m funding deal sends OakNorth into ‘unicorn’ land

Start-up bank behind a raft of recent prime resi development projects joins the $1bn club

OakNorth, the start-up bank that’s been financing a raft of prime resi schemes in London of late, has hit “unicorn” status after raising another big tranche of funding.

Describing itself as a bank “for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs”, Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman’s two-year-old venture has so far dished out funds totalling £800m to a mix of big and boutique developers including Galliard Homes, UrbanISTA, Linton Group, Godfrey London and Strawberry Star, and fast-growing operations in other sectors like LEON and Brasserie Blanc.

Those who’ve been tipping OakNorth as a future billion-dollar player haven’t had to wait long; a Singapore-based consortium comprising Coltrane Asset Management, The Clermont Group, and UK hedge fund Toscafund has just snapped up a 16% stake for £154m, valuing the London-based operation at a whopping $1.3bn (£934m).

Khosla, CEO of OakNorth, said: “While we have reached a £800 million loan book in two years, we know that this represents just a fraction of the businesses that need financing support. This funding will enable us to boost our lending by an additional £1.5bn and add thousands more jobs and homes in the UK.”

OakNorth co-founders Khosla and Perlman