Challenger bank Monzo becomes UKs latest tech unicorn after raising £85m

MonzoUK startup bank Monzo has reached a valuation of £1bn, achieving ‘unicorn’ status after raising £85m in its latest round of financing.

The London-based app-only bank‘s Series E funding round was led by US venture capital firms General Catalyst and Accel. The were joined by existing investors in the shape of Passion Capital, Goodwater, Thrive Capital, Orange Digital Ventures, and Stripe.

Monzo, founded in 2015, now boasts over 1.1m customers and has seen almost 95 per cent of its users upgrade to full Monzo current accounts since the beginning of the year. The challenger bank has a history of opening up its fundraising drives to its community and plans to launch a crowdfund as part of this round. In 2016, it raised £1m in just 96 seconds through crowdfunding and, in March 2017, it closed a crowdfunding round of more than £12m – despite only hoping for £2.5m.

Fellow UK fintech firm Revolut achieved unicorn status earlier this year when it raised $250m (£179m at the time) at a valuation of $1.7bn.