After a quiet few months, Tom has been back talking to the press:
I’m very sorry this is a paywall. But the amazing @sacha has shared a link that should work without subscribing - tap the downward arrow!
I think that subscribers can share links that let you have a look-see for free, so I’ll edit this post if anyone kindly offers one. In the meantime, here’s a summary:
- Tom really doesn’t like the phrase “unicorn”. Which is a bit tough, 'cos he’s going to be hearing it a lot.
- More seriously, he thinks it drives the wrong behaviours - he mentions DropBox spent $100k on a giant chrome panda (wtf?!) when they reached $10bn valuation(!)
- 1m customers due this week
- Monzo’s a hit with millennials (surprise!) - they particularly like the budgeting features. 50% of users are under 30, 75% under 40. (This one is brought to you by @Rat_au_van)
- Repeats stats we’ve heard before (20% of customers have salary paid in; average balance of £250; losses of £33.1m; revenue of £1.8m)
- Tom’s relaxed about the losses and thinks that revenue will grow ten-fold this year
- The journo notes that Monzo is unusually transparent for a tech start-up - Tom thinks that transparency is an alternative to advertising - or branches! (“as a new bank we need to build trust with our users, and we don’t have the money for a big branch network or TV advertising, so we do it by being transparent”)
- Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge calls Tom “off-the-charts-bright and exceptionally talented”
- We have the usual biographical history (born in Hong Kong, studied law, management consulting, Go-Cardless…)
- He’s still using the “control centre” analogy - even though the mission has moved away from it.
- He’s challenged over a notional 900% APR for the overdraft - but says that that is only possible if you’re only overdrawn by £20 for a year without any income. Restates that fixed fees are more helpful to customers and that it’s cheaper than a lot of banks (Barclays is 75p/day, for example).
Then there’s some stuff that’s interesting and new, at least to me:
- On leaving Starling “he led a revolt of 13 Starling staff” and says “there were differences of opinion” - which I think is the most we’ve heard (even though it’s what I think we’ve all assumed).
- His pay is £120,000 (“I’ve just got a pay rise!”)
- He tries not to be in the office before 10am and to leave by 7pm.
Et voila. There you have it. I’ve tried to avoid commenting as I go, so I’ll post some of my own thoughts below a bit later!