We had the pleasure of speaking with Marc Rubinstein, author of Net Interest, a financial sector newsletter, about his essay, Revolution in the Air.

Marc writes:

As a finance newsletter, we touch on fintech here a lot. We’ve looked in detail at a host of new entrants into financial services – Wise, Tinkoff, Paytm, Robinhood – all of them attempting to disrupt the traditional way of doing finance. This week, we turn our attention to one I’m particularly close to: Revolut.

I first came across Revolut in 2016 when an early investor showed me around its app and the backend dashboard he had access to. I used to travel a lot and the opportunity to access cheap foreign exchange via a payment card was very appealing. I signed up as a customer and – as the app informs me today – went on to spend £6,438 on my travels through the remainder of the year.

I knew that if I found the app useful, others would too; I was keen to invest. A short while later the company was out raising its series A and I got the opportunity to participate.

This week, Revolut became the UK’s most valuable private tech company of all time. It announced a series E fundraising, valuing it at $33 billion. That puts it roughly on a par with NatWest Group, the bank where I had my first account as a kid.

The massive growth of Revolut is clearly very exciting for me as an investor. But it also raises questions. Last year, NatWest did £11 billion of revenue; Revolut did £261 million. NatWest is on track to make £2.5 billion of profit; Revolut may or may not make a profit. Revolut has a few more customers than NatWest – 16 million versus 12.5 million – but what are those customers worth?

It’s time to sharpen my pencil and update my analysis of Revolut.

Read on and listen to our conversation (recorded on July 19, 2021):

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This conversation is available as an episode of Invest Intelligently, a member podcast of MOI Global. (Learn how to access member podcasts.)

About This Audio Series:

MOI Global is delighted to engage in illuminating conversations on the financial sector with Marc Rubinstein, whose Net Interest newsletter we have found to be truly exceptional. Our goal is to bring you Marc’s insights into financial services businesses and trends on a regular basis, with Marc’s weekly essays serving as inspiration for our discussions.

About Marc Rubinstein:

Marc is a fellow MOI Global member, managing partner of Fordington Advisors, and author of Net Interest. He is a former analyst and hedge fund manager, most recently at Lansdowne Partners, with more than 25 years of experience in the financial sector. Marc is based in London.

About Net Interest:

Net Interest, authored by Marc Rubinstein, is a newsletter of insight and analysis from the world of finance. Enjoyed by the most senior executives and smartest investors in the industry, it casts light on this important sector in an easy-to-read style. Each post explores a theme trending in the sector. Between fintech, economics and investment cycles—there’s always something to talk about!

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