The First Digital Bank (FDB), the first Israeli digital bank in over four decades, announced on Tuesday that it has raised $120 million from distinguished global investors, including Swiss wealth management group Julius Baer, Japanese financial conglomerate SBI and China-based tech firm Tencent.
The bank now has a valuation at $320 million according to FDB’s announcement.
Owned by tech entrepreneur Amnon Shashua, who also co-founded Israeli self-driving assistant tech firm Mobileye, the bank is currently operating in pilot mode and is set to be officially launched in early 2022.
Shashua has already made a $65 million seed investment into the bank and will remain its controlling shareholder.
FDB is a licensed Israeli digital bank that aims to “spearhead the autonomous banking transformation” using proprietary AI tools and technologies” in order to offer customers “a private banking service experience designed to proactively support their everyday financial challenges – from cashflows to budgeting, credit, savings, investments, and more – saving them time, money, and financial stress.”
The bank will integrate human bankers with advanced artificial intelligence technologies to create customized service experiences for customers.
The bank was originally founded and led by Marius Nacht, a co-founder of Israeli cybersecurity startup Check Point Software. Nacht brought Shashua in as a partner in August 2018. In May 2020, the bank announced Shashua would become the sole controlling shareholder after he will buy out partner Nacht.
“Expressing the confidence of the world’s leading international players in the bank’s technology and vision will help accelerate our long-term strategic plans to change the face of banking, first in Israel and later overseas,” Shashua said in the statement.