Tom Blomfield departs Monzo

By Daniel Lanyon on Thursday 21 January 2021

Digital Banking

Blomfield co-founded Monzo back in 2014 and held the title of CEO until May 2020 when he moved to a new role of President.

Tom Blomfield departs Monzo
Image source: Tom Blomfield/Monzo

One of the most well-known UK fintech CEOs Tom Blomfield, co-founder of Monzo, is leaving the leading neo bank, citing personal pressures heightened by the pandemic among other reasons. 

Blomfield, who also co-founded Gocardless, and had also worked at Starling Bank with Anne Boden in its early days, revealed in a candid interview with Techcrunch, published yesterday, that he had not fully enjoyed being CEO for a number of years but that more recently the coronavirus fallout had taken its toll on his mental-welling.

“I’m very happy to talk about what’s gone on with me, because I don’t think people do it enough”, he said.

Ahead of Monzo (then called Mondo's) first crowdfunding round nearly five years ago back in February 2016, Blomfield explained his vision in an article published by AltFi.

“We’ve been called a bank for people who hate banks. 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,” he said at the time.

The round went on to score £1m in 96 seconds from investors. 

He stepped down as CEO and from the company's board in May 2020 into the new role of President at Monzo but told Techcrunch yesterday of the challenges, of scaling what was "a scrappy start-up" to high profile bank serving millions of customers that was valued at c.£2bn in 2019. Monzo's valuation ultimately took a knock in 2020 when it raised cash at a 40 per cent lower level but it has continued to grow its customer base and moved towards revenue generation as a core strategy with the launch of its premium offerings.

TS Anil, who the firmed hired to lead its US launch, took over as CEO in the midst of the pandemic. Monzo had had a stellar 2019 scoring a number of successes including a record quarter for current account switching, with Monzo becoming the most-switched to account for the first time, during Q4 2019.

A decisive year to prove that the pioneering model worked was coming, however, and that was before the pandemic came along. In it latest accounts for 2019, which saw losses increase to £113.8m (a 140 per cent increase), Monzo's directors stated of there being: “material uncertainties, which may cast doubt over the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern.” 

Monzo saw out 2020 seemingly moving towards more sustainable revenue generation including the launch and good take-up of its premium services. As its new CEO TS Anil put it at the end of the year: “We’ve raised £125 million this year, achieved strong organic growth and are now nearing five million customers, all while becoming the most switched to bank in the U.K. and the top-rated for overall service.”

A spokesperson for Monzo said: "Tom is an incredible entrepreneur who, with his co-founders, built Monzo from the ground up with a determination to be transparent, put customers first and make money work for everyone. Monzo is where it is today because of Tom and his vision to transform banking - he leaves us with the foundations and inspiration to win under TS Anil’s leadership. We’ll miss him very much!"

Blomfield offered little by way of a hint of what he will be doing next, other than saying he may take a holiday and “chill out”. Good luck Tom!

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