By Cindy Taylor/Publisher – Digital banking has not quite taken hold here in the US the way it has abroad. While really all of America’s banks and credit unions have digital products and websites that offer a myriad of their respective bank’s services, you just don’t see all digital banks pop up here in the United States.
The main reason for this is the regulatory barrier to entry to form ANY new banks in the US, let alone an all-digital one.
That’s why we have decided to revisit our “VC Deal of the Week“, and have chosen to feature the recent $250M capital infusion Series C round that British digital bank Revolut just secured. The latest round also places the bank firmly within unicorn status, with a $1.7B post money valuation.
TechCrunch is reporting that Revolut’s valuation has increased five-fold in under a year, a VERY NICE jump in valuation for a firm a mere three years old. As comparison, Transferwise – their main competitor – is said to have a valuation of $1.6B, but it has taken upwards of 7 years to accomplish that feat.
The Revolut model is interesting. The firm is truly international in scope with plans to launch in “the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand (later) this year, with many more countries in the pipeline,” according to their website.
They also have a very eclectic, but relevant, mix of products currently in existence and in the pipeline, including cross-border payments, cryptocurrency accounts (with 25+ fiat currencies being supported by their app), “geolocation travel insurance”, spare change round-up savings accounts, wealth management services (coming in the near future) and a whole host of other products and features too numerous to mention.
They even has a community page with updated feedback from customers on technical and other issues accessible from the main page of their website. The transparency is really unusual, as this level of visibility with customer feedback on ANY existing US-based legacy banks simply does not exist. Not all the comments are pretty, but they are there.
Anyway, keep an eye on Revolut, who was backed on this latest round by heavy-hitter VCs DST Global, Ribbit Capital and Index Ventures. Based on the model, they are likely to be quite successful with the millennial and tech crowd in the US once they establish operations here.