British fintech Revolut says that Romania has become its second-biggest retail market globally, after the UK. Moreover, the $33 billion company states that Bucharest has the highest concentration of Revolut users in the EU, as one in three working-age inhabitants uses the financial superapp.
Since its launch on the Romanian market in May 2018, when only 9.7% of the Romanian population used internet banking, Revolut has now reached 2 million clients, who have spent, on average, EUR 19 per transaction. The typical Revolut user in Romania is about 36 and lives in a big city, using the app to make daily payments. Bucharest is the top Revolut city, with around 420,000 users.
Founded in London by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, in 2015, Revolut now has more than 18 million customers worldwide and +500,000 businesses who use dozens of its innovative products to make more than 150 million transactions a month.
In December 2018, Revolut secured a Challenger bank license from the European Central Bank, facilitated by the Bank of Lithuania. In 2020 it launched its bank in Poland and Lithuania, started offering highly competitive credit products in both countries and continued expansion in the EU. In 2021, it became a member of the Romanian Association of Banks. In January 2022, Revolut launched as a bank (instead of an e-money institution) in 10 additional European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and is now available in 28 EU countries.
Storonsky was born in 1984 outside Moscow. He studied for a master’s degree in physics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and during this time became a state champion swimmer. He completed a separate masters in economics at New Economic School in Moscow.Later he worked as a trader at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse. He left the banking industry to found Revolut with Vlad Yatsenko.
“I can’t see how work-life balance will help you build a start-up,” Storonsky, whose typical day in the office is 8am to 10pm, was quoted as saying. “Either you are all in and you’re focused and you spend time on it, or you have little chance to survive.”
He made the 2022 Forbes Billionaires List with an estimated wealth of $7.1 billion and occupied the 336th position.