Banking app Revolut joins the ranks of the crowdfunded unicorns

Revolut is the second business to join Crowdcube?s ?Unicorn Club?, preceded only by BrewDog, which achieved a valuation in excess of $1 billion in 2017. The crowd investors that invested in the digital banking business on the platform have realised returns of around 19 times their original investments.

Revolut ? which has previously been recognised by Real Business as Disruptor of the Year at the 2016 Everline Future 50 Awards and Innovator of the Year at last year?s Growing Business Awards ? offers a digital banking alternative. It enables its customers to hold, exchange and transfer money without fees in 25 countries.

Co-founder Storonsky, a former trader at Lehmann Brothers and Credit Suisse, spoke to Real Business after winning the Future 50 Award in 2016, and explained how he had the idea for the business while travelling.

?I was travelling a lot and wasting hundreds of pounds on foreign transaction fees and exchange rate commissions which just didn?t feel right,? he said.

?As someone with a financial background I knew exactly the rates I should be getting. As a solution, I tried to find a multi-currency card and was later told it wasn?t possible. But I was determined to make it work.?

In July 2016, crowd investors on the Crowdcube platform invested between ?10 and ?5000 into Revolut, which had already shown promise at this stage. It originally raised ?1.01 million via Crowdcube, and investments from Balderton Capital and Index Ventures brought the company?s valuation up to around ?42 million.

This year, in April, DST Global led an investment of $250 million in the company, which is now valued at around ?1.2 billion.

Other businesses which have successfully raised finance on the Crowdcube platform include: Cawston Press, Innis & Gunn, JustPark and Mindful Chef.

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