Revolut faces its moment of truth as fintech bubble threatens to burst

For a company that likes to reward success, Revolut’s day-to-day work culture is fast-paced and demanding, typical of many ambitious startups. A neon sign in its Canary Wharf headquarters reads “Get S–t Done”.

His leadership has been criticized in the past for promoting a “toxic” culture and Stronosky admitted in 2019 that he “didn’t always get it right”.

Some observers say the former Russian champion swimmer is showing signs of maturity as a leader. In a bid to keep staff on the sidelines in the face of the demand for talent in the tech industry, Revolut employees can now work anywhere in the world for 60 days a year.

The investor says: “Revolut is [Storonsky’s] life and it is clear that he devotes everything to building the business…[He] has undoubtedly matured into the role over the past few years.

As part of this growth plan, Revolut is preparing for a stock exchange listing, which London is keen to welcome. To professionalise the company’s image, Storonsky brought in City veteran Martin Gilbert, a longtime former boss of Aberdeen Asset Management, as chairman.

Michael Sherwood, former co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International, also sits on the board.

The company is currently recruiting an investor relations team and has completed a reorganization, inserting a new entity Revolut Group Holdings Ltd above Revolut Ltd in its corporate structure with a new memorandum and articles of association, both of which have tend to occur as a prelude to a quotation. .

While the float was expected this year, it will now likely be pushed back to 2023 at the earliest after deals in the city come to an end following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

War is a tricky subject for Revolut given its two founders’ ties to both countries. Storonsky was born in Moscow to a Russian mother and a Ukrainian father, while Yatsenko is Ukrainian. Both men have dual British nationality and strongly condemned the invasion, calling it “utterly heinous” and suspending Revolut’s operations in Russia and Belarus.

Meanwhile, Storonsky’s father, Nikolay Mironovich Storonsky, is a director of Gazprom Promgaz, the government-sanctioned engineering arm of the Russian gas giant. There is no indication that he is involved in the business.

The Storonsky family story was investigated in Lithuania in 2019 after Revolut obtained a banking license there, with a politician accusing it of having links to the Kremlin. These reviews concluded that there were no Russian political ties within the company.

Now, the SoftBank-backed startup will face its first real global downturn.

A Revolut spokesperson said: “The downturn in the fintech industry hasn’t affected us as much as others. We continue to hire and grow. We currently have over 200 live roles and after our summer 2021 fundraiser we are well funded and have no need for new capital.

However, its attempts to defy economic gravity are unlikely to be straightforward.

The analyst says, “The thing about great apps is that they’re nice and fluffy and give us an amazing interface on our iPhones. But while it is very easy to win customers, it is very difficult to monetize them. It will be [Revolut’s] real challenge. »

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