The Revolut unicorn, a disruptive force in banking

July 7, 2019 | FinTech, News
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The lessons it learnt en route to unicorn status

Not long ago, Revolut, the UK-based digital “challenger” bank, wanted to become the Amazon of banking. Today, the Revolut unicorn is now worth billions.

Started in July 2015 by two bank ex-employees, Revolut has a set a torrid pace towards its aim to become a global financial player.

Scooping up $336 million in venture capital financing till date, it was valued at $1.7 billion in its last funding round, putting it in the prized “unicorn” club.

Here’s an astounding statistic: Between June 2018 and now, users on Revolut’s banking platform have more than doubled to 5 million.

Revolut – a unicorn’s rocky path

Revolut’s initial brief was to cut out the middlemen and allow fee-free transactions in foreign exchange. This gave it a subscriber base, setting it on a high growth path.

That came with problems.

The online bank was once accused by the media of having a toxic workplace and a high turnover of employees.

Another media report claimed the bank routed illegal transactions when its sanctions screening system was down.

The Financial Conduct Authority,a financial watchdog of the UK, also investigated the claime.

Revolut management has dismissed the charged. However, they admit these incidences were valuable lessons.

Revolut unicorn and profitability

Does Revolut make money? Not yet, but it soon might.

The digital bank’s strategy is to provide the main product free and cross-sell other services around it.

The key to becoming profitable is, therefore, a large enough customer base.

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