Digital bank Monzo is planning a new $20m crowdfunding round that would give customers a chance to invest in the company, according to reports.
The latest round would give Monzo the coveted “unicorn” status, meaning it is a privately held startup valued at more than $1bn.
Monzo has raised around $4m through crowdfunding so far, including $1m in just 96 seconds on Crowdcube in 2016. It plans to use the same site for the upcoming round, according to City AM which first reported the news.
Venture capital funds and other investors have also ploughed more than $100m into the rapidly growing company.
The bank is seeking to raise a further $100m-$150m from investors, including Silicon Valley’s Accel Partners, which could value Monzo at up to $1.5bn - almost four times the price tag it achieved when it last tapped investors in November.
Known for its coral pink cards, the east London-based bank has been especially popular among millennials and hopes to hit four million customers within the next two years.
The company introduced paid-for overdrafts last year after gaining its full banking licence and is looking into expansion in the US. It reported pre-tax losses of £33.1m last year, following £7.9m a year earlier.
It has competition from a number of rival app-based banks that are seeking to take on shake up the world of traditional brick-and-mortar lenders, but few have been able to equal Monzo’s rapid acquisition of customers.
One competitor, Revolut, which allows customers to avoid rip-off exchange rates when they’re abroad, yesterday launched a metal debit card which gives up to 1 per cent cashback on overseas purchases.
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