After starting out the week with a bang and announcing a big new partnership with Visa, Revolut today (Oct. 1) reported that in 2018, its losses doubled as a consequence of its aggressive push for global reach. The firm officially recorded a net loss of £32.8 million ($40.3 million) on revenues of £58.2 million for 2018; in 2017, the firm posted a £14.8 million loss. Revenue climbed by 354 percent during the same time period.
The big uptick in losses corresponds to an uptick in the cost of sales, which is up 247 percent, according to Revolut – mostly pushed by a rise in costs to card scheme charges as well as user acquisitions.
One of the U.K.'s many so-called digital challenger banks, Revolut started its evolution as a pre-paid card attached to an app that gave users an easy mechanism for paying abroad without foreign exchange fees. The platform has since expanded its digital services to include crypto accounts, B2B accounts and stock trading.
The firm is currently eying a late 2019 funding round that could bring in as much as $500 million from investors, with SoftBank named as a likely potential source. Revolut’s most recent venture funding was raised in April 2018 at a $1.7 billion valuation, which resulted in it becoming one of the Europe’s most valuable unicorn companies. The capital infusion is sought as Revolut attempts a five-nation expansion to include Singapore, Japan and the United States.
The bank has dealt with some negative publicity this year, particularly around its working culture, which some have described as "toxic." There have also been reports of compliance issues with the organization.