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Revolut sets sights on acquiring coronavirus-hit rivals

Revolut’s CEO revealed plans to use a share of its recent $500m funding to buy struggling fintechs.

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Nikolay Storonsky (right)/Revolut

Revolut’s CEO Nikolay Storonsky revealed in an interview with The Financial Times yesterday that he has set his sights on acquiring coronavirus-hit fintechs.

Storonsky said the fintech planned to use money raised in its recent $500m Series D funding round that saw Revolut valued at $5.5bn.

Storonsky, who co-founded Revolut in 2015, told the FT: “This is not just blue-sky thinking—we’ve just done a fundraising, we’re cash-rich.”

He went onto describe the current coronavirus crisis as “a real opportunity” to snap up cash-strapped fintechs, with a particular focus on travel companies.

Strononsky said: “A lot of travel aggregators are in trouble at the moment — we could probably purchase one and sell flight tickets at cost and be 10 to 15 per cent cheaper than everyone else.”

Unlike its rivals, Revolut has not had to furlough staff, rather it’s co-founders and co-CEOs have forgone their salaries for the next 12 months and top executives have taken a 25 per cent pay cut, to ensure staff receive theirs.

The digital banking platform is also offering a salary swap scheme whereby employees can swap £1 of salary for £2 worth of shares. 

The fintech has seen a fair amount of movement at the top of its organisation, losing eight executives since the start of the lockdown, although the departures weren’t as a result of coronavirus.

As well as being on the lookout for companies to acquire, Revolut is also on the hunt for a UK Chairperson to help the e-money institution score a UK banking licence, after having operated in the UK for five years without one. 

Earlier this week, Revolut officially launched as a fully-fledged bank in Lithuania, operationalising its European Banking Licence, and allowing its 300,000 Lithuanian customers to fully insure their deposits up to €100,000.

Revolut received its European Banking licence from the Bank of Lithuania in late 2018 and says it plans to offer credit cards and loans in the coming months.

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