Challenger bank Monzo, famed for its instantaneous payments and coral card, has officially hit ‘unicorn’ status reaching a value of £1bn after securing an £85m investment.
Unicorn status is highly coveted, not just within the confines of Shoreditch, but across the UK and the wider world, and is only reached when a private company reaches valuation of £1bn.
Monzo is now following in the footsteps of fellow fintech Revolut and cyber security start-up Darktrace. It’s going to be raising more funds later this year in a crowdfunding round that will allow fans and customers to own a slice of the bank too.
Monzo, which was also recently announced the best start-up to work for in the UK, has also reached a total of 1 million customers and also accounts for 15 per cent of all new bank accounts opened each month.
The CEO of the bank, Tom Blomfield, has said that reaching the higher number of customers was more important to him than reach the unicorn status with a £1bn valuation:
“We were more excited internally about hitting one million customers – that was a sign to us that a million people were using this product that we created,” Mr Blomfield said.
Blomfield is keen to tap into a type of market keen to look beyond the major banks; he’s championed the idea of not needing a fixed address so that homeless people can gain access to Monzo. He has also ensured that a gambling feature was included in the app so that customers can block any form of gambling payment.
This type of corporate social responsibility has been invaluable to the Monzo business model and has ensured that it’s not just the colour of the cards that has allowed the bank to stand out to a new demographic.
It hopes to roll out more features in this vein that really help people deal with their money issues and will be using this recent investment to hire more staff that can create and implement more products.
Although becoming a unicorn and gaining one million customers are huge milestones for the three-year-old company, Monzo is really just getting started.