London-based digital banking startup Revolut raised $800 million in a round of financing, making it the most valuable private technology company in the history of the UK.

The deal was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global Management, and valued the six-year-old company at 33 billion U.S. dollars (23.9 billion pounds), six times the amount it was when it was last raised in early 2020. The company is now worth more than NatWest, one of the four largest retail banks in the UK.

Rapid growth has highlighted investors’ insatiable demand for fast-growing companies, which has once again raised concerns about the overheating of the private technology market. In the first half of this year, investors invested almost as much money in private start-ups as they did in 2020.

Revolut’s CFO Mikko Salovaara said that the company does not need financing, but added that “the financing environment is very good and we have a lot of interest from investors”, so it decided to take advantage.

The company recently denied that it was actively fundraising last month, but Salovaara said the deal was reversed within a few weeks after the company approached potential investors.

CEO Nikolay Storonsky said that the investment and high valuation show that “investors believe that we can provide products that raise the expectations of customers throughout the financial services industry.”

Storonsky is a former investment banker born in Russia who founded Revolut in 2015 with CTO Vlad Yatsenko. According to company building documents, the 2020 fundraising made him the youngest self-made billionaire in the UK, and Thursday’s investment made his shares worth more than $6 billion.

Revolut said it will use the new cash to increase marketing expenses, especially in the United States and India, as well as new product development. The company initially provided prepaid debit cards for travelers, but has expanded into areas ranging from stock and cryptocurrency transactions to consumer credit and commercial banking.

The net loss expanded from 107 million pounds last year to 168 million pounds, but it started to break even in the last two months of this year. Salovaara said the company achieved “strong earnings” in the first quarter of 2022.

The exchange fee generated by customers using the card is still Revolut’s largest source of income, but the company has diversified its income in the past year. Monthly subscription fees—providing benefits such as metal cards and cash back—increased by 92% in 2020, accounting for 29% of revenue, while revenue from foreign exchange and trading activities increased by 150%, accounting for 31% of the total.

Revolut has a banking license in the Eurozone but is still applying for it in the UK. Salovaara said he believes the company has completed about half of the process.

After the successful direct listing of Revolut’s competitor Wise last week, the investment was welcomed by people’s vote of confidence in the UK as a hub for fintech companies.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that Revolut’s fundraising was “good news” and added that “we want to see more great UK financial technology success stories.”

If Revolut chooses to follow Wise into the UK market, it will become one of the most valuable companies to join the London Stock Exchange.

Salovaara stated that the company is expected to go public “finally,” but added: “We have no immediate plans to go public. [and] The new capital we accepted did give us some cushion, so we can choose the timing very flexibly.”


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