Embattled fintech Lanistar claims to have hit one million pre-registered customers

By Aisling Finn on Tuesday 24 August 2021

Digital Banking

The claim was made in an Instagram post yesterday.

Embattled fintech Lanistar claims to have hit one million pre-registered customers
Image source: Gurhan Kizlioz/Lanistar

Not one to make unfounded claims, Lanistar has reportedly hit one million pre-registered customers.

In an Instagram post, the fintech claimed to be “one of the fastest-growing fintechs in the world” and revealed that it had crossed the one million pre-launch signup mark.

Despite not having a solid launch date, the fintech claims to have more customers on its waitlist than the likes of well-established fintechs such as Moneybox, PensionBee and Atom Bank. 

When it first launched, Lanistar planned to bring its ‘polymorphic debit card’ to market in late 2020, but thanks to a series of bumps in the road, including a run-in with the FCA, there is still no solid date set for the fintech’s long-awaited launch.

The fintech’s tempestuous journey to reaching one million pre-registered customers has not been an easy one. 

CEO and founder Gurhan Kizlioz came out the gate in Lanistar’s now-signature brash fashion, claiming that his fintech would “become the next £1bn fintech company”, despite having very little evidence to support this.

Just months after raising its initial £2m seed round, the fintech raised a £15m funding round, only for the money to be withdrawn by sole investor Milaya Capital, with Kizlioz then claiming that his family and friends would foot the £15m funding round bill.

In November 2020, Lanistar was flagged as a potentially fraudulent company by the FCA for operating outside of authorised financial activities. Despite the run-in, the FCA recalled its warning just days later after the fintech agreed to add disclaimers to its adverts and website.

The encounter with the FCA was not the last time Lanistar found itself in hot water with one of the UK’s regulators. 

In March 2021, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) published a ruling stating that Lanistar’s claims that it had “the world’s most secure payment card” were misleading.

The fintech has also been rocked by claims of sexual harassment, bullying and sexism after an investigation from Financial News uncovered the unsavoury work conditions.

Earlier this year, Financial News also revealed tales of unpaid wages, with some staff claiming to be owed thousands of pounds in missed salary payments.

AltFi approached Lanistar for comment but it is yet to provide one.

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