Monzo's now a unicorn! 🦄


(Big Boss) #1

Probably already old news for you fintech fanatics but just announced some hours ago! Monzocorn haha…

A couple more insightful articles from VCs, GC and Accel - just have a quick Google.

Question for the Freetrade folks, when do you think the Freetrade platform will be ready to plug into the Monzo marketplace? Getting access to their 2m customers will definitely supercharge Freetrade’s growth!

PS: I know, I know, there are still c70k people on the waitlist… :sweat_smile:


#2

Unlikely - Freetrade is anti-intermediation


#3

The official post from Monzo on this:

In 2016 we raised a record-beating £1 million in 96 seconds through crowdfunding, and more recently raised £2.5 million with more than £12 million pledged. Later this year, we’ll announce a much larger crowdfunding round with Crowdcube. We’ll have lots more details nearer the time!


Insightful post by Andrei Brasoveanu ( Principal at Accel ) Backing a banking revolutionary: our investment in Monzo


#5

Can’t wait for the day that I’ll see Freetrade in the same headline. :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

Forbes: With A Fresh Billion-Dollar Valuation, Monzo Is Already Planning A 2019 Funding…

  • “[This funding round is] not for the U.S. We will do a separate fundraise to move into the U.S. It won’t be this year, it’ll probably be next year,” he revealed.

  • An additional £20 million ($26.2 million) is already set to be raised later this year (technically part of this current funding round), via a crowdfunding campaign that Blomfield says will be open exclusively to Monzo customers via the bank’s app.

  • In recent weeks the challenger has both launched its first advertising campaign on the London Underground and offered a paid incentive of up to £50 across 10,000 customers to tempt them to switch their primary current account to Monzo.

  • “I think if we IPO for £2 billion, we’d be kind of sad. I think we’ve got so much more potential ahead of us to build a genuinely globally impactful company.”


(Kenny Grant) #7

That bit about doing it through the app is really interesting - great way to build a sense of loyalty and community as well… seems like something freetrade could look at too. I wonder if they’ll use Crowdcube at all?

I think if we IPO for £2 billion, we’d be kind of sad.

This time next year Rodney, this time next year… people are already counting their winnings over on the monzo forum. At 1 billion the share price is probably just under £10, that’s already a healthy 10x for early investors, but I do think if they launch in the US it could go a lot higher.

Revolut shareholders recently had an opportunity to exit at an almost 20x gain, I’m hoping Monzo does something similar pre ipo.


#8

It sounds like they’ll let users invest directly and it makes sense given their cost per/investor. It’ll be interesting to see how this will work and what the minimums/maximums will be.

It’s a bit hard not to count at this stage, plus Monzo shares have a decent secondary market, so offloading doesn’t seem to be that hard. Personally I’m holding for a long time, so a IPO doesn’t matter too much right now.

I really want Monzo to cross over the pond :rocket:

Talking about US banking, Barclays is planning on launching a Bank in the US. And talking about Barclays, Monzo’s new CFO Alwyn Jones ( subject to regulatory approval ) is former Barclays. :grin:


(Big Boss) #9

Curious… how does the secondary market work at Monzo?

Is it a smooth and seamless process?


#10

Sorry let me caveat that. There’s a demand on the Monzo forum and people have brought and sold shares on the forum. It’s not the smoothest process to me, see the blast section of this post:


(Ben) #11

First round of Monzo for crowd investors was at ~50p per share, this valuation is now closer to ~£10 per share so close to 20x for early Monzo investors as well.


(Big Boss) #12

Here’s my controversial comment (don’t hurt me Monzo hardliners! :sob:) - Monzo should NOT go to the US. It will not be the rocket fuel you hope for.

I think it will struggle to succeed because:

  1. Competitors (Chime Bank is a leading mobile challenger bank with more than 1m accounts and very similar feature set and culture to Monzo, Square’s Cash App is super successful and will be applying for a banking license, and other challengers (Robinhood, N26 and Revolut) have expressed interest and probably have all the infrastructure in place to launch)
  2. US Banking License is notoriously hard to get (Square, a $35b company, had to pull out of its application earlier in the year but have expressed intention to reapply. As far as I know, none of the challenger banks or fintech companies (Chime included) have a US banking license and Chime for example have had to partner with Bancorp Bank)
  3. Incumbents in the US are not like their peers in the UK (Chase and Bank of America have genuinely good products and have been aggressively investing in their technology arms. Whilst UK banks have been dogged by countless fines and breaches, this has not been case for US banks for a number of years and have been working hard on delivering product rather than spending to repair legacy issues)

Just my two cents. I do think that Monzo could be worth a few £B just by sticking to one’s own turf and becoming a dominant player in banking.


(Kenny Grant) #13

I think they definitely do plan to expand, so we’ll see how they get on. Personally I think it could transform them into a global player.

I agree the US market has challenges, probably greatest among them being obtaining a banking license. However they can start that process soon and take years to do it with a dedicated team without distracting from expanding in the UK market, and the US is a huge market with IMO moribund systems. There are quite a lot of things about US banking that feel antiquated - use of cheques (or checks if you prefer), signing instead of chip and pin, no faster payments, monthly checking account fees. It is improving in all those areas but is behind Asia or Europe.

Interesting to note that both Barclays and Goldman Sachs have launched digital retail banks in the US recently (in the case of Barclays it is coming soon) - I don’t think they would do that if there was no demand, and there is a lot to improve about US banking.


#14

I feel a bank like Monzo could be huge in countries where people have less access to banking due to infrastructure, geography etc. And where having a mobile phone may be the only ‘tech’ they have access to.

I imagine getting up and running may prove difficult but it could bring financial freedom to people who desperately need it.

Just a thought, i haven’t looked into it yet.


#15

I’m currently making the switch to Monzo. Just waiting for my card to come through. Are they doing another round of crowdfunding or is one currently happening?


(Emma) #16

By the end of the year


#17

I have tried to invest in Monzo three times I think, and failed in the lottery each time :frowning:


(Dan Beddows) #18

They’ve actually only had two public crowdfunding rounds, and only one of those was a lottery.

The first round was first come first serve (and was fully funded in 96 seconds), and the second the lottery.

They had a third private crowdfunding round for existing shareholders only, which was to topup their investment to avoid dilution.


#19

It’s the not investing that stings, not the failing to remember the reason why I couldn’t :slight_smile:


(Big Boss) #20

Preach it brother. The one that got away.


#21

I wish they would offer me a free £50 for switching over :joy: