Revolut, Europe’s $ 5.5 billion digital bank, is expanding into India

The Revolut logo is displayed on a smartphone and a PC screen.

Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA pictures | LightRocket via Getty Images

LONDON – Revolut, a UK-based online banking start-up, is planning to expand into India.

The London-based company announced on Thursday that it had recruited Paroma Chatterjee, a former manager of Indian startups Flipkart, Via.com and Lendingkart, to lead its operations in the country.

Revolut will invest around $ 25 million in the Indian market over the next five years and intends to launch its app there by 2022. The company, valued at $ 5.5 billion in its most recent financing round, has raised more than $ 900 million from investors to date.

“We look forward to changing the way people in India access and manage their money as we bring our products and services to more people around the world,” said Nik Storonsky, CEO and Co-Founder of Revolut .

“India is a core market in our expansion strategy with a huge talent pool. We are excited to use this talent pool to help Revolut get stronger.”

Revolut announced it will hire 300 people at its Indian subsidiary, which will serve as the company’s global operations center. It has previously recruited Heads of Operations and Legal and aims to take on a variety of other roles in HR, marketing and compliance.

Global expansion

With a population of 1.3 billion people and a growing adoption of digital payments, India would be a huge market for Revolut.

Founded in 2015, the company started with a travel-related service for cheap money transactions, but has since introduced other features such as stock trading and cryptocurrencies.

It is one of several digital banks in Europe that have set themselves the goal of taking over large established companies with branchless banks. Others are the British peer Monzo, the German rival N26 and the US start-up Chime.

Revolut, which has already expanded into Asia in countries like Japan and Singapore, is hoping to tap India’s fast-growing remittance market. The company is in talks with the Reserve Bank of India and a number of local banks to secure the necessary licenses and partnerships to get started.

If launched in India, Revolut would also compete with SoftBank-backed fintech Paytm, which is used by many Indians to make payments by scanning QR codes.

Revolut says its goal is to become a global bank and even has ambitions to break into China, a highly competitive fintech market. The company is reportedly in talks to raise new funds, which could be worth up to $ 15 billion in a round, as it continues its international expansion.

The company has had mixed successes in North America. It was launched in the US last year, has attracted 150,000 customers since then, and is now aiming for a banking charter in the country.

However, Revolut later announced in February that it would be withdrawing from Canada 18 months after it first tried its service.

Revolut, which lost £ 106.5 million ($ 148.4 million) in 2019, recently announced to CNBC that it managed to break even in November. The company is expected to release its 2020 financial results before the end of spring.

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