Monzo Co-founder and Former CEO Tom Blomfield tells the Monzo growth story from 0 to 1m customers from 2015 to 2018.
First, a note about the context. We started the company in the UK in February 2015, when “digital banks” weren’t yet a popular idea. BankSimple had launched in 2012 with some big plans, but sold to BBVA in early 2014 with about 100,000 accounts, having struggled to raise sufficient funding to continue. N26 started development in late 2013, initially as a card for kids, while Revolut was founded a few months after Monzo, in April 2015. At around the same time, the UK regulator had announced plans to make it easier to start new banks, following the “too-big-to-fail” mess of the financial crisis, and it was on the back of this initiative that Monzo was born.
We spent the first couple of months of the company’s life furiously writing a banking licence application, believing that the licence might be granted within 12 months. In fact, it took 3 years before we were able to open full bank accounts for the bulk of our customers. Even 12 months felt slow; it had only been a handful of years since I’d gone through Y Combinator with my previous startup, GoCardless, and I was terrified of spending too much time building something without a real indication that customers wanted what we were building. Going back through my notes from the time, I found I’d peppered them with YC mantras like “Do things that don’t scale”, “Launch early and talk to users” and “Make something people want”. So we looked for ways to get a product into users’ hands as soon as possible.
Read More at Tom Blomfield’s Blog
Read the rest at Tom Blomfield’s Blog