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December 5, 2018

Monzo Smashes £20 Million Crowdfunding Target

Monzo was last week voted the UK's most popular bank

By CBR Staff Writer

Challenger bank Monzo today smashed through its £20 million crowdfunding target in just two days, two hours and 45 minutes.

The bank raised nearly £3 million in a blistering 60 seconds and £17,961,551 in just under three hours today.

Some 33,549 new investors joined the round.

Two previous Monzo crowdfunding rounds saw 7,395 people invest their money. It also held a Series E late stage venture funding round in October 2019, raising £85 million at a pre-money valuation of £915 billion. It’s now considered a rare UK tech unicorn.

Monzo, which built its own stack, runs more than 400 core-banking microservices on AWS.

Read this: UK Challenger Monzo World’s First Bank to Partner with IFTTT

The flurry of retail investor interest caps a hugely positive week for the bank, which has beaten First Direct (after a nearly decade-long reign) to be rated as Britain’s best-rated lender, according to a Which? annual survey.

The funding round comes as Monzo’s customer base has been growing rapidly – and causing it increasing losses.

It is making headway however in bringing these down: its annual report in July showed that the bank had cut the cost to run one active account by an impressive 80 percent in 10 months – from £50 in July 2017 to £15 in July 2018.

See also: Monzo Burning Money as Popularity Rises

Customer accounts for 66.67 percent of the operational costs for every account opened at the bank. Monzo says it is looking to reduce that by helping staff work more effectively “with better tools and automation… and a smarter help screen that lets customers find their own answers faster.”

Along with a coral card, decent app and appealing costs and tie-ups (e.g. with Transferwise), the bank has won goodwill with strong levels of customer service: maintaining these while keeping down costs will prove a core challenge.

The bank finances its activities through the issue of ordinary shares and through cash deposits. Monzo also issues overdrafts to customers – one of the ways it aims to make money. A key challenge for the bank is that many users still treat it as a second account.

Monzo has taken a left-field approach to some of its innovations: earlier this summer partnered with world’s largest automation platform, IFTTT; an online platform that allows user to connect apps, services and devices to each other, then manipulate them via its interface. With the IFTTT partnership, Monzo bank account holders can connect their account to over 500 different services; ranging from Dropbox to your dishwasher, via Cisco Spark or Telegram.

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