ondo, the latest challenger bank aiming to take a chunk of business from the established high street lenders, is unlike any UK financial institution that has come before it.
The start-up has no branches, and will exist only ina smartphone app, offering just two products: a current account and an overdraft.
“We’re trying to be the Facebook for banking,” says founder Tom Blomfield, 30. “My gran likes to walk to her local branch and talk to her bank manager but we’re there for the people who want to get things done with a single swipe. We are building a bank for the people who live their lives on their smartphone.”
Mondo hasn’t officially been launched but demand is already escalating. There is a waiting list of 70,000 people who want a bank account, Blomfield claims, and the company raised £1m in 96 seconds earlier this month when it launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Crowdcube platform.
Almost 2,000 armchair investors backed the business, and will be bumped up the queue to receive a Mondo account and a debit card emblazoned with the word “investor” – “to show that they were involved from the start”, says Blomfield.
The serial entrepreneur has also raised funding from more traditional channels. Passion Capital, the London-based venture capital fund run by Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech City and technology adviser to the Prime Minister, has invested £7m in the business. This is the second time it has backed Blomfield: it is also an investor in his previous business, the payments processor GoCardless.