Société Générale is acquiring freelancer challenger bank Shine

Romain Dillet

Société Générale is acquiring French startup Shine. Terms of the deal are undisclosed. According to a source, Shine is getting acquired for around €100 million in an all-cash deal (around $112.6 million).

The startup had previously raised €10.8 million ($12.2 million) in total from Daphni, Kima Ventures, XAnge and various business angels.

If you’re not familiar with Shine, the startup has been building a challenger bank for freelancers and small companies in France. It lets you create a business account, get a debit card and take care of some of the most boring administrative tasks.

For instance, Shine helps you incorporate your company and also lets you create invoices directly from the app. You can send a link to your client, you get a notification when your client opens the invoice and they can view your Shine IBAN directly on the invoice.

And because the invoicing tool is integrated with your business bank account, your invoices are automatically marked as paid in the app.

When it comes to receipts, you can also open a card transaction and attach a receipt to that transaction. This way, all accounting information remains in the same app. If you’re working with an accountant, you can set up an automatic export of receipts, invoices and transactions once per month.

But the best feature of Shine is that it helps you stay on top of paperwork. You receive notifications to remind you that you should pay your taxes, you can see how much money will be left once you paid your taxes and more.

And it’s been working well with 70,000 freelancers and very small companies using Shine for their bank account. But Shine is built on top of Treezor, a banking-as-a-service company that provides financial services and debit cards to other fintech companies. At this scale, it would make sense for Shine to build its own infrastructure.

Shine has taken a different decision and is joining Société Générale, which also happens to be the company that acquired Treezor a few years ago.

Shine will operate independently from Société Générale and will still accept new customers — the two co-founders are staying at the helm of Shine. But the two companies have plans to cross-promote their respective offerings.

Société Générale could offer Shine to its business customers. And as freelancers start working with other people and turn their small independent business into a full-fledged company, Shine could also tell its customers to choose Société Générale for their business bank account.

Shine will also take advantage of Société Générale’s banking license and products. As a Shine customer, you could imagine getting a credit line from Société Générale. Having a banking giant behind you could greatly improve Shine's offering. Now, let's see if Société Générale manages to boost the potential of Shine.

Update: A spokesperson from Société Générale and a spokesperson from Shine have refuted the price of the acquisition. According to new information that I obtained from sources, the acquisition is happening over several tranches with the first payment currently happening. Combined, those tranches represent a total amount of around €100 million. As part of that, founders will receive cash incentives if they can achieve certain goals over several years.

Image Credits: Shine

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