Last month, we released our annual company report for the 2017 financial year, so I wanted to park myself in a quiet part of the office and write down some thoughts on what went well, where we can improve and look at our goals ahead.
I'm always taken aback when I have to write up these kind of things. It was only three years ago that we were a scrappy little startup, and now we're one of the fastest growing tech companies in the world. Funny how things pan out.
And while a lot of big banks will keep this kind of information wrapped up, I want this letter to serve as evidence that we are transparently building this company together - employees, customers, everyone.
First, let's start with the good stuff
Customer growth 🚀
Increasing customer acquisition and raising our brand awareness was the core focus for the business last year. In January 2017, customer numbers stood at 450,000, and we were opening around 1,000 new accounts each day.
By the end of the year, we trebled our customer base to over 1.2 million and we were opening 3,500 new accounts each day. Fast forward to the present day, and we have nearly 3 million customers, and we're opening around 8,000 new accounts each day.
We've set ourselves a target of opening 10,000 new accounts each day in Europe by the end of the year, and then we'll begin to invest most of our time and resources into growing new international markets, such as the United States and Canada.
We increased revenue 💰
The second objective was to increase our annual revenue. While it's perfectly normal for high growth tech companies to burn a little cash as they grow, I've always believed that fintechs should aim to generate trust in their business models from day one, by showing that they can make money, not just raise it.
In 2016, our revenues stood at £2.4 million and by the end of 2017, we increased our revenues by nearly five times to £12.8 million. What's even more encouraging is that we did not launch most of our money-making products until the later part of the year. For example, we launched our Premium accounts in April, Business accounts in June and Cryptocurrencies in December.
Skip ahead to the present day and we are on track to increase our revenues again this year by a fair amount. In fact, just last month, we launched our new metal cards, and we've already been blown away by the demand. I'm incredibly excited to see how this product advances in the coming months.
We increased transaction volumes 💳
18 months ago, there was no doubt that the overwhelming majority of our customers were using us almost exclusively as a travel card. However, we wanted people to use Revolut as their daily spending card, so we worked around the clock to develop a bunch of cool features that would help us achieve this.
Since we introduced analytical features such as budgeting controls, savings vaults and recurring payments, we've seen daily active users spike to 350,000, weekly active users jump to 800,000 and we recently hit 1.2 million monthly active users - not too shabby indeed.
And as we increased the number of overall and active users, we naturally saw huge spikes in the amount of money being spent and transferred through the platform. Between 1 January and 31 December 2017, our monthly transaction volume increased from $200 million to $1.5 billion, and if you fast forward to today, we're now processing $3 billion a month, with an overall transaction volume of $27 billion - blimey!
Where we let ourselves down
Customer support 🛎
We never want to give the impression that we are anything but a customer centric brand, but we know our customer support has been a little up and down this year.
I'm going to spare you the excuses and cut right to the point - we need to move as fast as we are growing. And even though we increased the number of support agents to 200, there is clearly more to be done.
To help keep things running smoothly, we'll be opening a second support centre in Europe later this year. We've also set up a dedicated Operations team whose sole responsibility is to continually improve our support and complaints process. This awesome team will be responsible for identifying issues, proposing solutions and then implementing them.
We've also been working towards bringing as many services in-house as possible, so that we can build our own world class systems and have full control over our infrastructure, reducing our dependency on third-party services.
Overpromising on things 🤦♂️
Whenever we're drawing up plans for our next product or feature, we always go out to our community and ask them what they'd like to see next. Over the last 18 months, we've run with so many of your ideas, and I'm really proud of that.
But I would be kidding myself if I did not address the fact that we have been far too slow in introducing things such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and local account details for non Euro countries.
I want to reassure you that all of the above are coming, and we'll aim to be as open and transparent as possible when it comes to launch dates. Whether it be a lack of resources or bureaucracy outside of our control, we're not always able to give out dates, and doing so anyway would just be reckless.
Some of our goals moving forward
Launch commission-free trading 📊
I cannot express how excited I am to bring commission-free stock trading to the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. I've been dabbling in the stock market for over 10 years now, and this industry is in dire need of disruption, and we're going to provide that disruption.
Launch new support centre 🏡
To make our customer support as fast and reliable as possible, we'll be opening up a second support centre in Europe. We've narrowed this down to two countries and we're on schedule to open up shop by the end of the year. We're also working on local language support, including French and Spanish.
Launch international markets 🌎
It's been a bureaucratic nightmare, but we are finally on track to launch our first international markets in early 2019. We'll be launching in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan - and we have a bunch more planned for the future.
Build teams worldwide 👩💻
We've achieved a great deal these last three years, but there is still a hell of a way to go. And if we're to become the next big tech company, we're going to need more exceptional people to help us get there. From engineers to marketers, we're looking for all kinds of skills right now.
And finally, a big thank you
From our amazingly talented team to our loyal community of customers, none of this would have been possible without you. Sincerely, you are the foundation of this company and I'm beyond excited to take the next step in our journey alongside each and every one of you. Let's do this!
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