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Fintech lowdown: A tale of two neobanks


June is set to be a memorable month for fintech, as Starling revealed its latest round of funding and new integrations while Monzo’s turbulent period continues.

16th Jun 2020
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Starling Bank’s £40m funding round

On 29 May, Starling raised  £40m in a new funding round led by JTC and Merian Chrysalis Investment Company. Alongside Starling’s February £60m injection the latest round takes the total for 2020 to £100m. Since the digital bank launched in 2014 it has secured £363m in funding.

Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden commented, “This additional funding from our existing investors demonstrates their commitment both to Starling and to our small business and personal customers who need our support now more than ever.”

The neobank now boasts more than 1.4m current accounts, 155,000 business accounts and a deposit base that has doubled in the last six months to over £2.4bn in value. Currently, Starling now lays claim to 2.6% of the UK’s small business banking market, and has nearly £500m under its lending belt.

Starling said it has seen “robust customer acquisition since the lockdown”, particularly for business accounts, where sign-ups have accelerated daily. 

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Starling in-app integrations adds Slack, Bionic and Equipsme

Starling also announced impending integrations with Slack, Bionic and Equipsme. These third-party marketplace integrations will add communications, energy and health app options to the list of 26 marketplace integrations for Starling Bank business customers.

“These new Marketplace integrations are bringing added value to our business customers, helping them to save money on utilities, incentivise their staff with health insurance and sync their Starling app with Slack so their teams can enjoy real-time spending notifications wherever they’re working,” said Anne Boden (finextra).

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Monzo drama continues with job cuts

Two weeks ago, Monzo was seeking new funding as it took a valuation hit and CEO Tom Blomfield stepped down. Now the digital bank has announced it will be cutting up to 120 UK jobs in response to the continuing strains put in the fintech sector by the coronavirus.

The loss of UK jobs follows 165 redundancies from the closure of Monzo’s Las Vegas customer support office and the furloughing of 295 employees in March. 

According to Reuters, new Monzo CEO TS Anil wrote in an internal memo, “Unfortunately we haven’t been able to achieve the goal of preventing the risk of redundancy at this time. It’s genuinely heartbreaking to share the news.”

The job losses come five months after Monzo announced plans to hire 500 people this year. Instead, Monzo has sought £70-80m in funding despite a 40% reduction in £2bn valuation.

Monzo’s board is taking a voluntary 25% pay cut for 2020, while founder Tom Blomfield is forgoing pay entirely.

Replies (2)

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By johnhemming
17th Jun 2020 13:23

Banking is a difficult area particularly at the moment. Established banks tend to be worth less in the market than their net asset value.

That, obviously, will reflect on the newer players.

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By North East Accountant
18th Jun 2020 13:58

After starting to open a business bank account with my high street for a new company back in February and it's still not open yet next time I'm definitely going to give one or the newbies a try.

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