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Revolut customers put almost £1bn on fintech's cards

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Revolut card. Photo: Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Customers of buzzy fintech Revolut have placed almost £1bn of deposits and cryptocurrency investments on its cards, new accounts reveal.

Accounts filed with Companies House, and seen by Yahoo Finance UK, show that Revolut had £902m in customer deposits at the end of 2018 and £37m-worth of cryptocurrency investments made by customers. Cash and cryptoassets held with Revolut rocketed by over 350% compared with 2017.

The figures underline the astonishing growth of the fintech startup, which was only founded in July 2015. Revolut’s customer deposits also outstrip rivals Monzo and Starling. Monzo was founded around the same time as Revolut and had deposits of £461.8m in February this year, while Starling reported customer deposits of £600m in August.

Unlike Monzo and Starling, which operate in just the UK, Revolut operates across Europe, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Switzerland, and the US.

Customer are likely to have ploughed even more into Revolut since last December when the accounting period ended. The company had 3 million customers at the end of 2018 but that number has jumped to over 7 million. Revolut said 1.6 million people signed up to its service in just the last two months.

READ MORE: Revolut CEO eyes expansion to 5,000 people by summer 2020

Revenue leapt higher at Revolut last year, rising 354% to £58.2m. The bulk came from card usage fees and interchange fees charged when people exchange currency on the app.

Revolut’s losses also grew, however, rising 121% to £32.8m in 2018. The highest paid director, unnamed but like founder Nikolay Storonsky, was paid £1.4m, the bulk of which was in share-based payment.

“The end of 2018 feels like a long time ago, but these figures are an important stepping stone in our sustained growth as a business,” CEO and founder Storonsky said in a statement.

“The leap forward in revenue, and customer numbers, since the beginning of 2019, shows that the reason we started this business continues to be vindicated: to meet major untapped need to solve the problems so many of us have with money management. We are very proud of the uptake so far and it’s great to see so many of our customers using us for their everyday banking needs.”

Revolut’s financials come just a day after the fintech startup announced a partnership with Visa, plans to hire 3,500 extra staff, and expand to 24 new markets.

“2019 is set to be another year delivering record growth, but our work is not done and we are determined to reach all those who need us,” Storonsky said. “This means maintaining our ambitious growth and expansion plans, which are now fuelled by substantial improvements to our profitability, and the key appointments we’ve been making.”

READ MORE: Revolut beefs up executive team with ex-Goldman and Credit Suisse bankers

Storonsky, a former Credit Suisse currency trader, set up Revolut in 2015 with another banker friend. The company began as a multi-currency card linked to an app but has quickly expanded into everything from travel insurance to cryptocurrency and stock trading. Revolut has raised over $300m to date and was valued at $1.7bn in a fundraising last year.

The startup has been the subject of controversy this year, as critics claimed its fast growth came at the expense of standards and staff. The startup was accused of breaking rules with its advertisingfaced accusations of a gruelling company culture, and claims of lax compliance standards.

Revolut has strongly pushed back against the claims and made a raft of senior hires this year in a bid to shore up its reputation. Nine external hires have been made to its executive team and board in 2019, bringing experience from the likes of HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs.

“Alongside expansion, our focus for the next year is to continue working hard to reinforce the team and governance structures needed to support a business growing at this scale,” Storonsky said in a statement on Tuesday.

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Oscar Williams-Grut covers banking, fintech, and finance for Yahoo Finance UK. Follow him on Twitter at @OscarWGrut.

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