Despite the continued challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on funding rounds globally, Monument (or the “Bank”) has raised over £28m million, significantly ahead of expectations and successfully completing one of the largest Series A funding rounds in fintech / banking of 2020 / 21, backed by a combination of new and existing experienced investors. Since inception, Monument has raised circa over £40m in funding, and it is now well placed to complete the build of its technological and operational capabilities and to be ready for launch in the Summer of 2021.
Monument’s new backers include Eric Zinterhofer (a founding partner of Searchlight Capital), Rakesh Loonkar (one of Goldman Sachs’ “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs”), and Harry Handelsman (who has been behind some of the most iconic property developments in London). Securing investment from a host of respected figures in the venture capital, private equity, fintech and real estate worlds is further testament to Monument’s proposition and team. We are delighted to welcome our new backers and remain thankful to our existing shareholders for their continued support.
The pandemic has generally dented investor sentiment globally especially in early-stage companies. According to a Crunchbase report, European venture funding declined 20 per cent in H1 2020 compared to H1 2019 with the UK experiencing a notable funding hit. As Monument was raising money through the pandemic, it had to undertake each and every fundraising discussion through digital video meetings, as opposed to face-to-face interactions which usually sit at the heart of traditional fundraising activity. Despite this challenging environment, the Bank significantly exceeded its Series A funding target, with no reliance on government schemes or public money, which is an exceptional achievement.
Monument received its “authorisation with restriction” (AWR) banking licence in October 2020, which was a key step forward in its plans to launch the first challenger bank in the UK to meet the unmet demands of over 4 million professionals, property investors, entrepreneurs and others that are seeking a bank to help them save and grow their wealth. When it launches in the Summer of 2021, it will provide savings and property investment lending backed by exceptional client service.
The Bank is now well advanced with last stage of the licencing process’ – called “mobilisation” – where it is finishing building the infrastructure and processes, expanding its team, and demonstrating to the regulators that it is ready for launch. When they are satisfied, and the restriction on the licence is lifted, it will be able to scale up deposit taking, lending and begin operating as a fully-fledged bank.
Following launch, Monument, will continue to develop its cloud-based SaaS enabled IT architecture, to be the only bank to offer its clients an entirely digital journey for buy-to-let and property investment lending of up to £2million. It will offer attractive, top quartile savings rates and its model is designed to reward loyalty. So, unlike most banks, if an existing saver deposits money for a subsequent fixed term, they will get a better rate than a new customer. And an existing borrower who renews their loan will also get a favourable rate.
Mintoo Bhandari, CEO and one of the founders of Monument said, “We are very pleased and excited to have successfully completed our Series A funding round, exceeding targets, against such a challenging backdrop.
“We are truly thankful to our investors who have shown faith in the robustness of our business strategy, the strength of our team, and the clarity of our plans. Looking ahead, 2021 will be an even more significant year for Monument as we continue to build our bank, expand our capabilities, launch, and serve the mass affluent, and provide them the level of client service they deserve.
“Furthermore, as the global and national focus turns towards economic recovery, we are confident that digital first firms, including Monument, can play an exceptional role in supporting the ‘building back better’ of our economy. I believe these businesses are likely to be a key enabler and driving force for society’s digital future and renewed prosperity.”