UK fintech Starling Bank has secured an additional £130.5m as part of an internal fundraising, more than doubling its valuation to $3.3bn (£2.5bn), reported Business Insider.

The round was an extension to Starling’s Series D funding round that first closed at a valuation of £1.1bn in March last year.

Existing backers Fidelity, Harold McPike, RPMI Railpen, Qatar Investment Authority and Goldman Sachs participated in the round.

Founded in 2014, Starling is said to have over two million users and around 350,000 business accounts.

The latest fundraising comes as the London-based digital bank prepares to go public through an initial public offering (IPO) in London later this year or at the beginning of next year.

The bank will leverage the fresh capital to boost its acquisition strategy.

Confirming the fundraising, a spokesperson for Starling told the publication: “This will enable us to continue our growth and to build a war chest for acquisitions. We are looking at a number of potential targets.”

A recent report by Bloomberg suggests that the bank’s acquisitions targets include a platform of specialist mortgage lender Kensington.

Blackstone-backed Kensington provides home loans to the self-employed and people above 55 years of age.

Last year, Starling bought specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages in a £50m cash and share deal.

The acquisition –a first for the bank – was part of its wider plan to expand lending through a mix of strategic forward-flow arrangements, organic lending and targeted M&A activity.

In 2020, Starling raised an additional £40m in funding to offer support for small business customers hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.