One London-based startup aiming to be a “global banking alternative” is signing up 40 new business customers a day—totaling more than 16,000 business customers in just four months.
Revolut, a foreign exchange startup already signing up 3,000 to 3,500 retail customers each day, launched business accounts in June and hopes to ramp up that sign-up rate to 100 business a day, reports Business Insider.
Nikolay Storonsky, CEO of the two-year-old startup, shared the numbers on new business accounts at a presentation at the LendIt Europe conference in London on October 10.
Revolut’s pre-paid card and accompanying app, currently only available to citizens in dozens of European countries, lets customers buy, hold, and transfer money in multiple currencies at low rates.
“The vision is very simple,” Storonsky said. “At the moment in the world, all banks are very local. As a result, you always struggle with international activity. That means you always need to open new bank accounts, issue new cards, set up a new credit profile.
“Nowadays people are all international. Banks are not providing this service. The vision for us is alternative global banking. Anyone in the world can just download the Revolut app and set up a local bank account to access any services they need.”
While technically not a bank—Revolut lacks a license from the UK’s financial regulator—the startup’s product offers many of the same features as a bank, including checking accounts, loans, loyalty offers, mobile phone and travel insurance, a bill splitting feature, a chatbot, and, on October 17, they introduced recurring payments, allowing customers to make regular transfers to either other Revolut users or bank accounts.
With 900,000 customers, 180,000 of those being daily active users and 600,000 who use the app at least once a month, the startup has processed over $6 billion in transactions to date. And, with a soon-to-launch addition allowing customers to buy and trade bitcoin in-app, Revolut expects those numbers to only grow.
“I think in terms of engagement, it will be much higher, just because we see there is a huge demand for bitcoin from all of our customers,” Storonsky said. “I’m getting bombarded all the time, when are you launching cryptocurrencies etc. etc.”
With this new functionality, which is weeks overdue, the startup aims to reduce the friction and barrier to entry to buying, selling, sending and spending cryptocurrency—a process that typically involves “signing up on crypto exchanges, or peer-to-peer platforms, or going to a bitcoin ATM, to acquire or dispose of funds,” according to Quartz.
— Revolut (@RevolutApp) September 11, 2017
“Revolut believe cryptocurrencies will play an increasingly important role in global financial services and hope that our initial adoption will help to bring crypto to a wider audience,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Customers will be able to instantly exchange any of Revolut’s 16 fiat currencies into one of three cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin, Ether or Litecoin—and back “at the touch of a button.”
Revolut plans to launch in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong by the end of Q1 2018.
Cadence is a fintech reporter and writer at Fintech Unltd, where she covers the changing landscape of financial technologies. Previously, Cadence interned at Psychology Today, Business Insider and the Wisconsin State Journal. Cadence is interested in how science and technology intersect with power and culture and is curious about the world we are creating for tomorrow, consciously or not. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2017 with degrees in Journalism and Chinese. Send tips and story ideas to Cadence at [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter @cadencebambenek.