FinTech Unicorn Revolut Gains Approval for AFSL from Australian Financial Watchdog ASIC

  • UK based Fintech startup Revolut bank receives green light to operate in Australia from ASIC.
  • Offering expertise in digital financial services, they now service over 10 million clients globally. Recently rated as the most valuable startup in the UK.

Reports have now surfaced that the UK based Fintech, Revolut, has now received approval for their Australian Financial Service License (AFSL). This was after the chairman of Fintech Australia; Alan Tsen posted a tweet applauding the start-up for receiving the license that was then confirmed by Revolut's Global Expansion Manager,

The AFS license is granted by Australian Financial Watchdog, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It allows people or companies carrying out financial services to operate legally within Australia. The ASIC issued them with an exemption as they commenced operations there in 2019 although the exemption expires at the beginning of June 2020.

The Fintech firm made its first move outside Europe by establishing a base in Australia. They then set up Revolut Australia which received ASIC accreditation. This local front would now be able to consolidate its presence in the Australian market. Last June, they launched their Australian Beta mode in pilot programs within Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Revolut offers deposits, credit cards, global remittances, and offers trading options. They have since extended support to clients who trade using Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) amongst other stock and crypto options.

It was launched by CEO and co-founder Nikolay Storonsky, a Russian British based Entrepreneur and Vlad Yatsenko who serves as CTO. Vlad previously held developer positions in both Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.

Most Valuable Startup in the UK

The digital bank was ranked the most valuable startup in the UK for 2020, at £4.2 billion. This was after they announced the receipt of a $500 million in funding from Technology Crossover Ventures notably also backing LinkedIn and Spotify. This catapulted them ahead of their peers Monzo also a digital bank given a £2 billion valuation. The platform now boasts of over 10 million clients globally.

These funds were most likely poured into the hiring of new staff process as they sought to increase their global presence.

In an interview with a media outlet last year CEO, Storonsky highlighted that they intended to onboard over 5000 new staff (technology developers, data scientists, support staff, compliance experts, and senior executives) by the end of 2020. It is yet to be seen how the global Covid-19 has impeded their expansion plans.

“Right now, I would say 60 percent of my time is just spent on hiring.”

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