Monzo is a startup that styles itself as the bank of the future. They are building modern retail banking services with the smartphone as your hub with all the features people constantly wonder why their traditional bank doesn't already include. Initial features on launch include instantaneous money transfers, current accounts, zero charges when spending abroad, automatic bill splitting, easy spending tracking, and initial alerts on unusual activity or higher than average bills. Unlike most FinTech startups who (such as Simple.com) partner with a bank, Monzo has gone all in and is a fully licensed bank in its own right.
The 100+ member team is based in London, England and the company was launched in February 2015.
Why I like Them
Most of all I like their ambition. The retail banking industry has existed in its current form for more than 50 years - I am extremely excited to see a team reinventing banking around technology from the ground up, something that is long overdue.
This ambition and innovation is revealed with their implementation of what they call "smart" banking features - software that automatically optimizes on behalf of their customer. Customer accounts will automatically switch your bank services to the best deal - including with savings accounts. Other examples of "smart" banking features include automatically budgeting for their customers and telling them what they are overspending on. These features are noticeable differentiators and potentially future moats, only possible because the company is writing all its bank infrastructure software from scratch. I am extremely curious see what upcoming smart banking features look like.
I also like their rapid growth. Monzo unashamedly knows and goes after mobile first millennials as its customers and this targeted customer base has responded in the first 6 months with 400,000 initial customers, a 25,000 person waiting list, and a cult like following.
Disclosure: All information is from publicly available sources, I have not had any contact with a member of the company or its investors.