Julien Eichinger - stock.adobe.c

Fintech sector continues to attract investment as Revolut hits $33bn valuation

Revolut has become the most valuable financial technology firm in the UK after its latest round of investment, with plans for a ‘superapp’

Tech-led challenger finance firm Revolut has raised $800m in its latest round of funding, making it the UK’s most valuable financial technology (fintech) company.

The investment will further raise confidence in the fintech sector, which is attracting major investments again following a lull during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revolut, which is yet to make a profit, is now valued at $33bn.

In 2015, the company launched in the UK offering money transfer and exchange services. It now has over 16 million customers around the world using it products to make more than 150 million transactions a month.

The fintech will use the funding – from Softbank Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global Management – to fuel its product innovation activity further and create a “global superapp”. The additional capital will also support its expansion to US customers and its entry to other international markets, including India.

Revolut founder Nikolay Storonsky said the company planned to develop a “superapp” which will house a wide range of finance products.

“We are building a full financial product suite in a single app, where you will always find the product that best meets your needs,” said Storonsky.

He added that the company would increase the personalisation of its products with a continued focus on “low and transparent fees”.

The latest investment in Revolut follows recent funding rounds at SaltPay ($500m), Checkout.com ($450m) and Starling Bank ($376m), and brings more positive news after a pause in fintech investments at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Economic uncertainties during the pandemic caused a pause in fintech investments. For example, according to Innovate Finance, only $760m was invested in UK fintech in the second quarter of 2020, compared with more than $1.2bn (£940m) in the same quarter in 2019.

Numbers from the fintech trade body earlier this week revealed that investment in the UK fintech sector was recovering strongly, with investment in UK fintech at $5.7bn (£4.1bn) in the first six months of 2021, which is more than in the whole of 2020, when $4.3bn was invested.

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said it was great news that the investment in Revolut would lead to the creation of more jobs in the UK. “We want to see even more great British fintech success stories like Revolut,” he added.

The UK has developed a large fintech sector and is pinning its hopes on it as an industry of the future. A Treasury-commissioned review of the UK’s future in fintech told the government in February that it must urgently introduce effective policies in five key areas if the fintech industry is to continue to thrive.

The review, carried out by Ron Kalifa, chairman of fintech giant Worldpay, set out the steps that the UK must take if it is to remain one of the world’s leading fintech locations. It recommended upskilling Brits in the ways of fintech and fast-tracking foreign talent, dispersing fintech innovation from London across the country, and increasing funding for fintechs at all stages in their lifecycles.

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