The fintech banking race heats up as another European player closes a major fundraise.
Monese refuses to be left behind by digital banking darlings Monzo, N26 and the like. The paid-for banking challenger has made a major statement this morning, announcing the closing of a $60m Series B fundraise.
Kinnevik, a global investor focused on digital businesses, led the round, with PayPal, Augmentum Fintech and International Airlines Group also participating. Existing investors, including Investec’s INVC Fund, also took part.
Augmentum, an investment trust, raised £94m in March for investing in privately-held scale-up technology businesses. The trust had a busy August, participating in fundraises for peer-to-peer lender Zopa and business banking fintech Tide. The trust contributed £5.3m to Monese's Series B.
Monese has also been busy of late, launching premium and student accounts in August shortly after announcing that it had hit half a million customers. More than three quarters of those customers have their salaries paid into their Monese account, the firm claims.
The $60m will be used for product development and international expansion.
Monese has now raised a grand total of $76m which, while still less than the funding raised by some of its rivals, certainly gives it enough firepower to compete on the increasingly competitive European stage.
One of Monese’s primary points of difference in the market is that it charges for usage, with various pricing plans available.
The company plans to hire an additional 100 employees across its offices in the UK and Tallinn. It also intends to open a third office in Portugal by the end of the year.
Norris Koppel, founder and CEO of Monese, said in a statement: “We are delighted to have such distinguished investors who share our belief that technology can be used to provide access to modern, convenient and affordable financial services to people who have been underserved by traditional financial institutions. To have investors who are leaders in their fields allows us to bring tremendous operational experience and growth potential for the services we offer today and have planned for the future. With a further series of product innovations to be announced in the very near future, this is an exciting time for Monese.”
Now in its sixth year, the AltFi London Summit returns on 18th March 2019 to 155 Bishopsgate. Last year proved to be a crucial turning point for the key players building the future of finance. Leading platforms launched oversubscribed IPOs, digital banks proliferated and mainstream financial institutions started their own disruptive propositions. With 2019 certain to be another landmark year, more questions will be asked by regulators with investor interest in disruption also poised for more rapid growth.