The round brings South Korea’s biggest VC to European shores for the first time
British fintech startup Monese announced a $10 million (£8.1 million) funding round Tuesday with money coming in from STE Capital, Anthemis Exponential Ventures, and Korea Investment Partners (KIP).
Monese’s app helps expats more easily open bank accounts in the UK. Accounts can be confirmed by uploading national ID or passport photos from the phone to the app or taking a selfie right then and there. The account can be used for online shopping, money transfers and getting paid.
It might go without saying considering their target customer that they offer international money transfers, for the moment in eight currencies.
“The money raised will be key in helping us launch Euro current accounts and become available to customers in other European markets,” said Monese CEO Norris Koppel, who added they will soon introduce new services for debit and credit. He said the round was oversubscribed.
Just 16 months old, the company has raised over $15 million and signed up 40,000 customers who come from around the world — they boast 179 countries to be exact. Over that period of time, 1.8 million transactions have moved a total of £150 million.
“Our unrelenting drive to provide a better banking solution has gained us international recognition as the leader in ‘instant banking’ services across Europe,” their blog announcement claimed. They have garnered recognitions such as Best Challenger Bank at The European Fintech Awards and the Horizon 2020 Award for Research.
The entry of KIP, on of South Korea’s leading VC firms, demonstrates a significant step for the company. as it could link the company with the country’s largest bank, Kakao, whose majority shareholder is KIP parent Korea Investment Holdings. The announcement pronounces Monese KIP’s first European investment, though the VC has made global expansion an apparent priority with deals in Cashtree (Jakarta) and Elastagen (Sydney).