Science

Digital bank Revolut becomes London's latest fintech unicorn

Digital bank Revolut becomes London's latest fintech unicorn”

Financial technology firm Revolut said on Thursday its valuation had jumped by five times in a year to $1.7 billion at its most recent funding round, making it the first of Britain's digital-only banks to reach unicorn status. The company broke even in December and said in that month, transaction volume surged to $1.5 billion, a 700 percent increase in the previous 12 months.

The company's expansion will see the platform move to the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia in 2018.

The latest investment increases Revolut's valuation by 500pc in a year to $1.7bn.

The funding round was led by Hong Kong-based DST Global, with new and existing investors including Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital also taking part.

Co-founded in 2013 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut provides a secure, mobile-based current account that allows users to hold, exchange and transfer without fees in 25 different currencies. It also plans to launch Revolut Platinum, which it describes as "a radically better solution for everyday banking", though no further details are offered save for the fact it will come with a a bespoke contactless card made entirely from stainless steel and coated with a custom shade of metallic black paint.

Nik Storonsky is the founder and chief executive of Revolut
Nik Storonsky is the founder and chief executive of Revolut

Pay-per-day geolocation travel insurance and disposable virtual cards are just two new offerings from the online bank this year.

Revolut, which is in the process of securing a banking license and now offers its almost two million users a pre-paid card, app and cheap foreign exchange, said it had raised $250 million in its third funding round, well above the $66 million it raised last July.

In a statement during the announcement, Storonsky said: "Our focus, since we launched, has been to do everything completely opposite to traditional banks".

Among the other new features it has rolled out are the the ability to instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies, and a savings feature that lets customers round up their daily transactions and save their spare change in a digital vault.

"We build world class tech that puts people back in control of their finances, we speak to our customers like humans and we're never afraid to challenge old thinking in order to innovate". He added, "We are delighted to support Nik and the Revolut team as they continue to innovate, roll out new services and expand geographically".

More news: EPS for Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC) forecasted at $0.88



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