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Revolut, Europe's digital banking unicorn, announces tripled losses in 2019

Revolut blamed the mounting losses on its investment in international expansion and new product offerings.

Tochukwu Egesi
Tochukwu Egesi

British financial technology firm Revolut said its losses more than tripled in 2019, despite a surge in revenues and customer numbers.

The London-based start-up, which offers banking and trading services through an app, posted a total loss of £106.5 million ($139.6 million) for the year ending December 31, up from £32.9 million in 2018.

That was despite Revolut's revenues climbing 180% to £162.7 million from the £58.2 million it reported in 2018. The company also nearly tripled its total user base in 2019 to 10 million from 3.5 million a year earlier.

Revolut CEO

Revolut blamed the mounting losses on its investment in international expansion and new product offerings. Last year, the firm launched a commission-free stock trading feature to take on incumbent online brokers like Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell. It's also been pushing its app into new regions like the U.S., Singapore and Australia.

The company is one of Europe's top fintech unicorns, having been privately valued at $5.5 billion in a $580 million funding round earlier this year. That puts it on par with Klarna and Checkout.com, which are also worth around $5.5 billion.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Revolut said momentum in its business hadn't slowed. The start-up said it saw a decline in interchange revenue — the income it gets from fees generated every time a customer uses their card — but that products like cryptocurrency trading saw increased demand. It now has close to 13 million customers in total.

Unlike Monzo, which warned of doubts about its ability to continue as a "going concern" in its 2020 annual report, Revolut said it has "adequate resources to continue in operation for the foreseeable future."

Financial inclusionDigital inclusion

Tochukwu Egesi

Financial Services Strategy & Digital Economy Specialist (Scribing in Personal Capacity)