The First ‘Bank’ to Crowdfund

By Sam Griffiths on 15th February 2016

Equity Crowdfunding

Mondo, a soon to be launched mobile-first challenger bank, has today announced that it will reserve £1million of its upcoming fundraise for investors through Crowdcube. This makes Mondo the first ‘bank’ to raise money through crowdfunding.

The First ‘Bank’ to Crowdfund

The crowd will invest alongside early stage tech specialist venture capital firm Passion Capital which has already committed £5 million. This is on top of a £2 million investment last year. The round is to be pitched at a pre money valuation of £24m. It is unclear at this stage whether crowd investors will be investing on exactly the same terms as Passion – the class of share that they will get etc. However, we are told that this will be clear when the round launches and all investors will invest at the same valuation. The new funding will enable Mondo to accelerate the roll-out of services at the start of its public launch.

Mondo is not yet officially a bank – having submitted its application to the FCA and PRA last year, it is currently awaiting regulatory approval for its UK banking licence which it hopes will come through later this year. However, it does have 1,500 users currently testing the bank’s services and a further 30,000 users who have registered for their services once launched. The firm tells us that they have turned down additional offers from notable international investors in this investment round.

“We’ve been called a bank for people who hate banks,” explained Tom Blomfield, CEO of Mondo. “We’re using the power of the smartphone to put our customers back in control of their finances. You can see exactly what you’re spending in seconds, from anywhere in the world. Sending money to friends or splitting bills is as easy as a single tap.”

Blomfield has form in the fintech startup scene – previously was one of the founders of payments provider GoCardless. He continued:

  

“Early on, we decided that openness and transparency was the only way to ensure that Mondo was solving real customer problems. Our early users have helped us shape the bank as it’s grown and we’re enormously grateful for their help. Now we want to give them a chance to own part of the bank that they’ve helped to build.”

“We’ve reserved £1 million for crowdfunding investment via Crowdcube in this round, and we’re planning to include a crowdfunding element in future funding rounds,”

The Mondo campaign is yet another high profile coup for Crowdcube. Luke Lang, cofounder and CMO weighed in: “Mondo is disrupting the finance world through its smart use of technology and by leveraging the power of people to help build a bank that everyone can love. We’re delighted they chose Crowdcube for this funding round.”

Eileen Burbidge, Partner at Passion Capital and HM Treasury’s Special Envoy for Fintech explained further: “Mondo is Passion Capital’s single largest investment and we’re delighted to be supporting Tom and the team as they tackle a market that’s an order of magnitude larger than that of most other companies. Consumer expectations have shifted; they expect to be able to do everything from their mobile in a matter of seconds. We’re very excited that Mondo will bring that experience to banking.”

The investment will launch on Crowdcube’s website on Tuesday 1st March. To get access to the investment a day earlier, investors can register their interest at www.getmondo.co.uk/invest. Investors will also get the opportunity to be some of the first to use Mondo’s services with each getting a Mondo prepaid credit card and access to the Mondo iPhone app ahead of the 30,000 strong waiting list.

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