FinTech Big Dogs Are Better Than Unicorns

We’re not sure whether the FinTech sector can be said to have big dogs. There are unicorns aplenty, with billion-dollar valuations formulated in the fertile imaginations of venture capitalists. Big dogs, however, are real businesses, operating in a real business environment.

If there is a UK FinTech big dog, we’d say challenger bank Revolut was that creature. Our friends at Finextra report a new funding round:

Digital banking app Revolut has netted £63m ($80m) from US private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in its latest funding round.

The latest share sale is an extension of a Series D funding round that took place in February, earning Revolut £387 ($500m) and a £4.2bn ($5.5bn) valuation.

Revolut stated that its valuation remains the same and that the extra money will be used to finance the addition of new features in the US and the roll out of its operations across European markets.

The UK-based digital bank has acquired 12 million registered users since its establishment five years ago but it is still yet to make a profit. In 2018, it reported a £33m loss, more than double the £15m loss in the previous year. However, Revolut did more than quadruple its revenue in that time, from £13m to £58m and the company has stated that it expects to treble revenues again this year. 

The extra funding bolsters Revolut’s position as the UK’s most valuable fintech startup and it comes at a time when funding for fintechs has declined due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Historical Performance And IFISA Process Guide

  • Money&Co. lenders have achieved an average return of more than 8 per cent gross (before we deduct our one per cent fee). 

That figure is the result of over £21 million of loans facilitated on the site, as we bring individuals looking for a good return on capital together with carefully vetted small companies seeking funds for growth. Bear in mind that lenders’ capital is at risk. Read warnings on site before committing capital.

  • Money&Co. has been lending for over 5 years and has only had two bad debts so far, representing a bad debt rate of 0.03 per cent per annum.

All loans on site are eligible to be held in a Money&Co. Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFISA), up to the annual ISA limit of £20,000. Such loans offer lenders tax-free income. Our offering is an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that can hold the peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans that Money&Co. facilitates. For the purposes of this article, the terms ISA and IFISA are interchangeable.

So here’s our guide to the process:

  • Step 1: Register as a lender. Go to the login page, and go through the process that the law requires us to effect. This means we have to do basic checks on you to comply with money-laundering and other security requirements.
  • Step 2: Put money into your account. This is best done by electronic transfer. We can also process paper cheques drawn in favour of Denmark Square Limited, the parent company of Money&Co.
  • Step 3: Buy loans in the loan market. Once you’ve put cash in your account it will sit there – and it won’t earn interest until you’ve bought a piece of a loan. It’s this final step that requires lenders and IFISA investors to be pro-active. Just choose some loans – all loans on the Money&Co. site can be held in an IFISA – and your money will start earning tax-free interest.

The ISA allowance for 2019/20 is unchanged from last tax year at £20,000, allowing a married couple to put £40,000 into a tax-free environment. Over three years, an investment of this scale in two Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISAs would generate £8,400 of income completely free of tax. We’re assuming a 7 per cent return, net of charges and free of tax here.

Once you have made your initial commitment, you might then consider diversifying – buying a spread of loans. To do this, you can go into the “loans for sale” market. All loans bought in this market also qualify for IFISA tax benefits.


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Disclaimer: Money&Co.™ is the trading name of Denmark Square Limited, Company Number 08561817, registered in England & Wales, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The company is identified on the Financial Services Register under Reference Number 727325. The registered office is 58 Glentham Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9JJ where the register of Directors may be inspected. Denmark Square Limited (ISA manager reference number Z1932) manages the Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISA.