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Tencent Agrees Stake for Popular Digital Bank, Monzo

Chinese technology company Tencent Holdings, has announced that it has succeeded in snapping up a stake in Monzo, the British-based digital bank currently valued at $4.5bn (£3.7bn).

No stranger to investing in Europe’s fintech sector, Tencent has subscribed to shares as part of a $100m (£74m) top-up to Monzo’s latest funding round.

Back in December Monzo confirmed that Coatue and the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund had become investors.

Tencent is a Chinese multinational entertainment conglomerate and holdings company, and it is the largest gaming company in the world. Its social application WeChat had 1.225 billion monthly active users in 2020. WeChat Pay has 825 million users.

The company has previously backed European banking start-ups such as Germany’s N26. It also holds stakes in major US tech companies, including Tesla and Snap. Its Hong Kong-listed shares have a market capitalisation equivalent to more than £400bn (£296bn).

This latest top-up in funding takes the total amount raised in Monzo’s latest round to £444m.

TS Anil, Monzo’s chief executive, said of the December round: “This investment means we’ll grow further and faster as we continue on our journey to reinvent banking, and become the one app that sits at the centre of our customers’ financial lives.”

The bank said it was making progress improving its finances and had doubled revenues in the last year as it rolled out more paid-for services, with 300,000 now using paid accounts. Staff numbers have also grown 60% since January 2021 to 2,100.

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