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Monzo’s last co-founder Jonas Templestein leaves the bank

The last of the original five Monzo co-founders has left the bank

Jonas Templestein / Monzo

Jonas Templestein / Monzo

After almost nine years at challenger bank Monzo, its last remaining co-founder Jonas Templestein has left the bank.

Templestein is the former chief technology officer (CTO) of the bank, and came to co-found Monzo with Tom Blomfield, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman after the group broke away from Anne Boden’s Starling Bank in early 2015.

In a letter posted to the bank’s website on Friday, Templestein wrote: “After nine incredible years at Monzo (half my adult life!), it's time for me to move on.”

Monzo hired Matej Pfajfar in February to take over as CTO at the same time as Templestein went on paternity leave.

“This moment feels right,” Templestein wrote. “Matej has hit the ground running as CTO in February and we haven’t had any major platform incidents in two years (jinx!). In other words, we’re doing really well!”

In his parting letter, the co-founder recalls the “existential threat” that Monzo faced in 2020, and recognised the crucial role of CEO TS Anil and COO Sujata Bhatia.

“When they joined in 2020, a funding round had just fallen apart due to the pandemic, we were losing a lot of money, hadn’t shipped a successful feature in a long while and were struggling with a series of incidents.” 

“Regulators were (rightfully!) concerned about our business model. Many of our stakeholders, and even myself, at times, believed it would be best for our customers and staff if we took the ‘easy’ route and sold the company.”

Templestein said Bhatia and Anil joined Monzo despite those challenges, and in overcoming them have become “just as much founders of Monzo as myself or anyone else.”

His comment is likely a nod to the fact that Templestein’s departure means none of the original five co-founders of Monzo remain working at the bank today.

Jason Bates was the first to leave Monzo in 2016 to found 11:FS, Gary Dolman retired in March 2019, Paul Rippon left in January 2020 to start alpaca farming in Northumberland and Tom Blomfield left in 2021 after a year as president after TS Anil took over as CEO.

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