Thursday, 26 April 2018

New UK banks challenge dominance of 'big four'

There may be all kinds of concerns about the cost of office rents in London and access to skilled workers following Brexit, but Britain's financial technology (fintech) sector is still firing on all cylinders.
Confirmation of that came on Thursday as Revolut became the first of Britain's digital-only banks to achieve "unicorn" status - in other words, a privately held start-up company with a valuation of more than $1bn (£720m).
Revolut, which was only founded in July 2015, has been valued at $1.7bn (£1.22bn) in its latest funding round.

The bank, which started out as a currency exchange app but later moved into providing personal banking and cryptocurrency trading services, raised $250m (£180m) from backers including DST Global, an investment firm backed by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, whose previous early-stage tech investments have included Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb and Spotify.

Other backers included existing investors Index Ventures, an early backer of Facebook, Betfair, Just Eat, Skype and Ribbit Capital, whose investments include the peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle.

The funding round, Revolut's third, means it has now raised $340m (£243m) from investors.

The valuation put on the company is five times the valuation put on it at the time of its last funding round in July last year.

Revolut is reckoned to have 1.7 million customers across Europe, 250,000 of whom use the service daily.

It intends to use some of the money to support a global expansion taking it into the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Continue

SKY     News.

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