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The UK has a new $33 billion tech giant

By Charles Riley, CNN Business

There’s a new super-unicorn in the United Kingdom.

Revolut has been valued at $33 billion in a new fundraising round led by SoftBank and Tiger Global Management, the London-based digital banking startup said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said it would use the $800 million raised to develop new products, expand its operations in the United States and enter new international markets including India.

Revolut launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, quickly becoming popular with frequent travelers who use its app to convert currencies and avoid costly ATM fees overseas. It has since expanded into wealth management and investing services.

The fundraising round makes Revolut the most valuable financial technology company in the United Kingdom. At $33 billion, the company is also worth more than NatWest, one of the country’s Big Four retail banks.

“As we expand into new markets we are encouraged by our customers’ enthusiasm for Revolut and we look forward to using this investment to further our mission,” Revolut founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky said in a statement.

Investors are pouring money into UK financial technology companies. Shares in Revolut rival Wise have risen by more than 20% since it went public in London on July 7.

London boasts 29 financial technology unicorns, or startups valued at more than $1 billion, according to a recent report from London & Partners and Dealroom. London attracted a record $5.3 billion in venture capital investment in fintech in the first six months of this year, ranking second behind only San Francisco.

Backing from US firm Tiger Global and the SoftBank Vision Fund, which is spearheaded by prolific tech investor Masayoshi Son, puts Revolut at the head of the UK pack. A fundraising round last year had valued the startup at just $5.5 billion.

“SoftBank and Tiger Global’s investments are an endorsement of our mission to create a global financial superapp that enables customers to manage all their financial needs through a single platform,” said Storonsky.

Revolut was granted a banking license by the European Central Bank in 2018, and applied for a full license in the United Kingdom earlier this year. It has more than 16 million customers around the world.

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