Hargreaves Lansdown adds confusion with Monzo IPO Instagram ad

By Aisling Finn on Tuesday 24 August 2021

Digital Banking

The digital bank is yet to announce any plans to IPO any time soon. 

Hargreaves Lansdown adds confusion with Monzo IPO Instagram ad
Image source: Monzo

We’ve seen a couple of blockbuster fintech IPOs this year so far, Wise’s debut last month and PensionBee’s listing back in April, but it seems like the flurry of activity could have some a bit overexcited.

Over the weekend, investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown ran an Instagram ad, first spotted by Flux's head of finance Robert Collings, encouraging people to “sign up for alerts on the Monzo IPO.” 

While other fintechs, like its keenest rival Starling, have been very vocal about their eventual IPO plans, Monzo has often remained shtum on the topic.

The advert left people confused, with some putting it down to the investment platform simply trying to get clicks and new customers to sign up without actually having any solid information to go on.

As the ad began to gain traction, inevitably being posted in Monzo’s community forum, Monzo’s social media manager Richard Cook described the ad as “odd”, adding: “We saw them running similar ads on Twitter last week and asked them to stop.”

“Needless to say we’ve got nothing to announce. And you’d hear from us first in any case."

It’s believed that the content of the advert was based upon an interview with Monzo’s CEO TS Anil in Wired earlier this year, with the CEO telling the publication: “An IPO is very much on the cards as a potential option for Monzo, and could take place as soon as 2023.”

Earlier this month, Monzo’s COO Sujata Bhatia and general counsel Stephanie Pagni echoed Anil’s statement, telling Sifted that a Monzo IPO would “make sense,” even if the fintech’s debut is still likely much further down the line.

After all, for the second year running the digital bank’s 2021 annual results highlighted “material uncertainties that cast doubt on our ability to continue as a going concern,” which doesn’t exactly sound like a company that is about to go public.  

When speaking to the investment desk at Hargreaves Lansdown about the advert, the advisor told AltFi that the ad was based on speculation over the last few months about whether or not Monzo would make a stock market debut any time soon. So, Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t know something that we don’t.

A spokesperson for the investment firm told AltFi: “Our experts keep their ears to the ground for potential IPOs and investors can then register for updates on companies they’re interested in – we’ll keep them in the loop if a rumour develops into anything more concrete.”   

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