Fintech banking and tech innovator Revolut is continuing its rapid development as plans carry on for it to expand worldwide.
The company has made itself known for being like a bank account that offers easy cross-border payments and the ability to pay and withdraw cash in different currencies when overseas. Revolut is now looking to get some substantial funding to develop its business further. It is currently in talks with Softbank of Japan to raise up to half a billion dollars in Series D funding.
Although talks are still at an early stage, both sides are confident of reaching an agreement. Discussions are set to continue into the next year with Softbank, which has made it known that it has a whopping $100bn to part with as part of its Vision Fund initiative. This fund mostly invests in tech companies that are disrupting the market. Softbank’s investment in Vision Fund will be the first time that it dips its toes into the UK fintech market.
Revolut has already garnered a solid reputation in the last few years thanks to its reliability in delivering an easily accessible method of transferring money into different countries and paying for products and services when abroad without incurring large fees.
It has become well-known for only basing its exchange rates on the interbank rate used in wholesale financial markets worldwide rather than stacking commissions on top as most major lenders do. Revolut has built up a solid foundation, as few other brokers or lenders have been able to get anywhere close to its success when it comes to great forex rates.
The startup has moved from contender to potential mainstream giant in a very short space of time. It has plumped up its valuation fivefold in the last year alone and is now worth $1.7bn. During its last funding round earlier this year, Revolut managed to get hold of $250m, which it plans to use to help navigate difficult regulatory waters in many contexts.
The company has struggled to break into the US market so far, as it needs to find ways to overcome many different regulatory hurdles. Because of such challenges, it has delayed its US launch. Australia and Japan are also firmly in its sights.
Therefore, funding from Softbank would be useful, and any money left over would go toward efforts to secure a full banking license, with which Revolut can offer more than just pre-paid debit and payment cards.
There is yet to be confirmation as to whether any of Revolut’s previous funding backers will also want to contribute in the next rounds. They include investment vehicles such as DST Global and Index Ventures.
Revolut has a set of ambitious targets to hit, and its line of thinking may end up pulling in many investors. It has just 2 million users at present but expects to increase to 100 million in just five years’ time. Should it achieve such a landmark, it will rank with some of the largest financial businesses in the world.
The news of Revolut’s talks with Softbank came at the same time as its confirmation that it has cut card fraud and laundering fourfold over the last two months thanks to better use of algorithms and machine learning.