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Report: Softbank in £21bn valuation funding talks with Revolut

The digital banking challenger last raised new cash in 2020 and is increasingly in a race to establish itself as a financial 'super app' to rival the likes of WeChat and Alipay.

a man and a woman sitting on a couch smiling

Nik Storonsky (right)/Revolut

Revolut is in talks with Softbank for a huge new funding round that could push its valuation to  $30bn (£21bn), according to a report from Sky News

The new cash, which would come from SoftBank’s vast Vision Fund 2 could reach $1bn. 

With such a valuation, Revolut could join Klarna as one of the few fintech unicorns in Europe to reach and easily surpass the 'decacorn' level. In addition, it would take the crown as the most highly prized neo bank brand, ahead of Brazilian Nubank, last valued at $25bn.

Revolut increasingly has billed itself as a super app, in the manner of the hugely successful and multi-faceted financial apps in China such as WeChat and Alipay which blend financial services as well as other e-commerce revenue channels. 

Its global ambitions are back on after a tough pandemic period for the wider sector, with bold plans to take on the Indian market.

“As the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 drove the trend towards digital financial management we continued to innovate for customers to make their financial lives easier and accelerate daily use,” Nik Storonsky, CEO and co-founder of Revolut, said last month.

“We launched 24 new retail and business products, expanded into the US, Japan and Australia and launched banking services in Lithuania, all while significantly improving our profitability. We began 2021 with a more resilient and productive business that will enhance our trajectory towards rapid growth.”

The digital banking challenger, which is also in the process of securing a UK banking license, last raised money in 2020 amid the first wave of the pandemic. It secured $500m in a Series D funding round led by TCV, a US-based investment firm, as well as several unnamed existing investors.

While the exact valuation was undisclosed, it was widely reported to be in the $5.5bn range, meaning should this new deal come off Revolut would have seen a near six times uplift in just over a year. 

During this period, along with many other digital banks reliant on interchange fees from card payments, Revolut has shifted its strategy to diversify its revenue channels and plot a path to sustainability.

According to its latest accounts, annual revenues jumped to £261m in 2020 up from £166m in 2019, while net losses widened to £168m in 2020.

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