Upcoming funding round discriminating non-UK early investors


(Vito) #1

Hi,

I’m very upset by the discrimination in the upcoming funding round. I have invested in Monzo 3 times = in every crowdfunding round, starting under the old brand “Mondo”. I participated in the new brand suggestion process, introduced Monzo to uk friends etc… I have Monzo app in my phone from years, but i’ve never been able to signup as i’m from Italy so i’ve been in the queue for long time but at the end i haven’t been allowed to signup with an Italian address. Today i find out that there is an upcoming round and i’ll be discriminated and excluded because I’m not a client (= not in the UK), i cannot be a client by your choice and I’ll miss the requirement for the funding round.

Is this the way to treat your loyal early investors, ambassadors and potential clients who are waiting to signup from abroad?


(Jack) #2

IMO the earlier crowdfund rounds were for anyone who thought the Monzo idea was great vision!

This time around it’s focus is to give existing customers the chance to invest in a product they use every day. By doing this it gives the customer more power to make sure Monzo are building a great product, it gives the end user more influence overall.
This wouldn’t be as easy if it were open to non-customers.

Monzo could have just got the extra £20m from venture capital firms (less hassle!). But the emphasis is on what I’ve said above otherwise why would they bother :slight_smile:


(Kolok) #3

I still think that previous private investors should have the chance for sure it’s a very reasonable request, they’ve even given previous investors early access so they obviously think this also.

but i think they’ve not done it because of the hassle of making another way for people to invest, it can’t be many who live abroad, but I’m on the fence whether they should have put the time in to do it.


(Matt C) #4

It also hugely pushes literal customer buy-in. I am much less likely to move my current account away from Monzo if I am investing money into the company. This will really help to retain a core user base.


#5

Totally agreed. IMO, they should have offered pre-emption rights to all or none of the previous investors. This is not really fair.

A very simple solution would have just been to use Crowdcube for these non-UK based investors. In the end, it seems that Crowdcube will make the raise happen behind the scenes…


(MikeF) #6

I don’t think there’s any ‘should’, ‘could’ or ‘ought to’ in this.

Any choice taken to favour one group will work against another. There’s no scenario in which everyone will be happy. As with most of life, there is simply no such thing as ‘fair’ in this context.


(Chris Rimell) #7

Were non-UK people allowed to invest in previous crowdfunding rounds? I didn’t know that.

I don’t think this is discrimination, not by any legal standard anyway.

On another note, this was interesting in the prospectus:

The Group also plans to expand into new geographies. In February 2018, Monzo
completed passporting to the Republic of Ireland; Monzo is not currently offering any
products in Europe. The Group is considering expansion plans into Europe, but does not
currently anticipate opening any European subsidiaries until the second half of 2019 at
the earliest.


#8

As a long-standing UK investor I am grateful for the chance to invest again, but this round is clearly not fair for existing investors outside the UK. This problem arises because pre-emption rights have been consistently waived by institutional/large investors who do not appear from the cap table to have foregone the chance to invest to the degree they have imposed on small investors. I think there should have been a small pre-emption round ahead of the prospectus round.


#9

@Feathers, I agree with you, but this decision will allow a group of existing investors to exercise their pre-emption rights and another group will not be able to do so.


#10

This is very unfair, however I fear you will not get much sympathy here where a huge percentage of of people are from the U.K. and a large percentage of them never got to invest in the first place.

If it were me I would speak to the people at Monzo responsible for running the round. It sounds like an oversight to me.


#11

Don’t you think it’s kind of sly to encourage customer retention through investment, rather than providing killer features?

How about you open it on CrowdCube like normal, with no early days for previous investors, same time for everyone. 20m cap.

I mean, it’s discriminating against foreign investors for sure, but I’m doubting it’s illegal discrimination also.

This is probably true to be honest. I’d say at least 90% of the Monzo forums are UK based and if something doesn’t have the possibility of affecting someone, they often don’t care. I would give some staff a shout and see what their stance on this is. @simonb


(Peter Magyar) #12

I totally agree with this thread. I am an early investor from abroad too. I am very disappointed. If there are too little ivestors not from UK, Monzo cooperating with Crowdcube would allow for us invest some money in this round too.


(Dan) #13

Honestly, this is likely not an oversight and more so regulatory hurdles to producing a prospectus that has been approved as a financial promotion.

It’s likely been signed off by a UK regulatory body like the FCA or PRA and their scope is UK residents only.


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #14

UK residents , or with a UK postal address ???


(Dan) #15

My bad, I meant residents. Just edited the post.


(Matt C) #16

I don’t think it’s sly, I think it makes perfect business sense. And who said the killer features are going to stop? I’ve seen nothing but constant development and an appetite to push boundaries and innovate at Monzo.


#17

It’s possible they can’t open it to non-U.K., maybe a regulatory restriction for such a large raise? I don’t know to be honest.

However I do feel for our non-U.K. friends, I wish everyone could participate.

It wouldn’t surprise me if you start seeing “selling shares” messages popping up soon - not ideal but maybe an opportunity?


#18

I would rather they have enough confidence in their product to not rely on investments to maintain accounts.

They have some cool features but what is actually killer when compared to other options?

Aside from IFTTH support I’ve not seen anything particularly pushed boundary wise. Innovation means something new that hasn’t been done before.


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #19

"Aside from IFTTH support I’ve not seen anything particularly pushed boundary wise. Innovation means something new that hasn’t been done before."

not sure that’s actually the exact definition of innovation :slight_smile: you can surely perform existing processes in innovative ways ?


(Dan) #20

You’re speculating that they don’t have enough confidence. That isn’t the same as not having enough confidence.

  • IFTTT: the first bank in the UK (possibly globally) to integrate.
  • Gambling Block: the first bank in the UK (possibly globally). Estimated around 0.5% of the UK population suffer from problem gambling. If that is representative of Monzo, it means they’re helping thousands of people.
  • First bank to introduce push notifications on spending.
  • First bank to introduce rich merchant data in app.
  • First bank to drop bullshit fees (fees that cost the bank nothing), like missed direct debit fee, turning off an overdraft fee, spending abroad.
  • First bank to let you know when your direct debit’s are changing in cost, showing flight information for tickets bought, have an open forum to even discuss this. Events & open offices.
  • Completely modern infrastructure built on todays best practices. Microservices and cloud based architecture.
  • Freezing/defrosting a debit card
  • Transparency, company ethics and social issues being addressed.
  • Monzo.me
  • Emoji? :nerd_face:

The list goes on. The boundaries are definitely being pushed. Not sure how you missed so many.