AltFi’s top 10 most read stories of 2023
Check out all the hit stories of this year as we head into 2024
As another tumultuous year in fintech comes to an end, we at AltFi are taking a moment to reflect on 2023.
We’ll be looking at fintech trends, the bumper funding rounds and unfortunate departures and even giving our predictions for the year ahead.
First up, we’re looking back at the stories that you, our readers, found most interesting this year.
We’ll be delving into the top 10 most read stories this year, packed with exclusives, new names, big launches and, you guessed it, Revolut.
So without further ado, drumroll please, here are the top 10 most read stories on AltFi from 2023…
10. Exclusive: Tandem Bank co-founders launch ‘Prosper’ with £3.2m, aiming to reshape wealth management
Hoping to revolutionise the traditional wealth management space, fintech veterans Ricky Knox, Nick Perrett and Phil Bungey secured £3.2m in pre-seed funding for their new venture in November.
They launched Propser, a new low-cost digital wealth app, with the backing of notable fintech experts including Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield and ComplyAdvantage executive chair Charles Delingpole.
Prosper aims to attract high net worth and mass-affluent investors, and its initial offering includes fee-free investments in public market index funds, competitive interest rates on cash savings and an array of both private and alternative investment opportunities.
9. Nutmeg co-founder Nick Hungerford says he has just “weeks to live” as he battles terminal bone cancer
Nutmeg co-founder and one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs Nick Hungerford unfortunately passed away from terminal bone cancer earlier this year.
In a moving first-person article in the Telegraph, Hungerford shared that he knew he had at most a few months to live and shared his fears not of death, but of leaving his wife Nancy and toddler Elizabeth.
Hungerford founded Elizabeth’s Smile, a nonprofit providing practical resources for children who have lost a parent, when he discovered there would be nothing to help his daughter through the grief of his passing.
“Our aim is that children’s grief does not become suffering, so they can reach their full potential,” he wrote.
8. Exclusive: Revolut is launching crypto staking for millions of users for DOT, XTZ, ADA & ETH
Set to be a recurring feature on this list, Revolut is coming in at number eight with the launch of crypto ‘staking’ for its customers in the UK and European Economic Area.
The fintech launched the feature at the start of the year, starting with DOT, XTZ, ADA and ETH crypto assets.
Crypto was not new to the neobanking challenger, having first offered trading to users back in 2017 and it has since grown its offering to more than 120 tokens, becoming an important revenue driver.
7. Exclusive: Ex-Monzo duo launch Sync Savings to fix UK’s broken cash savings market
Another new company launch came along in August this year when former Monzo executives Joss Tasker and Alex Fox launched Sync Savings.
On a mission to fix the technology underpinning the UK’s cash savings market, the two closed the company’s first pre-seed round, the size of which was not disclosed, to help build a product suite for banks.
Tasker told AltFi the fintech aims to reduce the cost of serving savings customers for small and medium-sized banks and building societies in the UK.
The company counted prominent angel investors including Charlie Delingpole, Mark Ransford, Phil Chambers and Michael Tefula among their early backers.
6. Exclusive: Meet Teya, the mysterious fintech unicorn formerly known as SaltPay
In the year of the rebrand, the ever-elusive fintech unicorn SaltPay became Teya, as chief commercial officer Lawrence Hene exclusively revealed to AltFi in April.
The one-stop solution for European businesses previously had virtually no online presence despite amassing 300,000 customers, more than 20 employees and having 20 offices across 15 countries.
Looking to bring joy back to merchants, Teya (pronounced Tay-Uh) aims to provide a suite of services to small businesses, bringing business management tools and payment acceptance into one ecosystem.
5. Wise hits 16m customers and reveals rebrand to bolster global expansion
Continuing with the rebrands, Wise also revealed a new look this year as it hit 16 million customers worldwide.
While not quite as big a change as when the fintech moved away from TransferWise in 2021, the revamped logo and app were designed to bring a consistent customer experience to all users, no matter what language they’re using.
Wise’s chief product officer Nilan Peiris told AltFi the “fresh, current new look” reflects where the company is today.
“We’re much more than transfers, which is our heritage, and with more and more of our customers adopting our international account, the new look really supports [that] and promotes it visually,” he said.
4. Trouble at Railsr: New layoffs, insiders allege funding issues and sale to Nigerian fintech
Railsr, formerly known as Railsbank, dominated the headlines at the start of the year.
The fintech faced being sold to Nigerian fintech Flutterwave among new layoffs, allegations that a funding round had come in materially lower than originally stated and reported cash flow issues.
“It’s true that we’ve faced a difficult time, as most fintechs are right now,” a spokesperson for Railsr told AltFi at the time.
Back in March, the fintech was sold after its second round of layoffs in the US, alleged funding issues and a potential flash sale to a Nigerian fintech. Most recently, the fintech resurfaced after entering administration with a £20m funding round.
3. Revolut launches new premium plan ‘Ultra’
In June this year, Revolut launched its new “ultimate” membership card: Ultra. It replaced Metal as its top-tier plan and launched with more than 430,000 people on the waitlist in the UK and Europe.
Positioned as a card of luxury and lifestyle, the platinum-plated card costs members £540 a year and offers up to £4,100 of benefits in return, including subscription bundles with partners including the Financial Times, ClassPass, Deliveroo and Headspace.
Revolut has branded it the “ultimate travelling and lifestyle companion”, and following additional extras added to its other premium subscriptions, further benefits are set to come to Ultra customers “in due course”.
Read more: Revolut launches new premium plan ‘Ultra’
2. Revolut launching ‘ultra’ new premium subscription plan with 5% cashback
Ahead of officially launching ‘Ultra’ in June, Revolut announced plans to go live with its top-tier premium subscription plan at the start of the year.
It also announced that benefits would included five per cent cashback for waitlisted users in the first month of use.
1. Revolut launches instant cashback up to 3%
Rounding off the top three stories of 2023, Revolut is back again.
In February, the fintech on its way to superapp status launched instant, automatic cashback for customers in the UK and EEA from within the app across retailers including Amazon and ASOS alongside big brands like Nike and Charlotte Tilbury.
‘Shops’ will be available to all customers, with boosted rates for the aforementioned ‘Ultra’ subscribers.
Keep your eyes on AltFi next year to see whether Revolut manages to climb its Everest and finally secure its banking licence.
Read more: Revolut launches instant cashback up to 3%