Nikolay Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut.
Harry Murphy Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images
Not all fintech unicorns cut jobs.
After Klarna announced its plans to lay off 10% of its workforce on Monday, some rival fintechs make it clear that they have no intention of cutting jobs or freezing hiring.
Revolut, the $ 33 billion digital banking start-up, said the company was “actively recruiting” with more than 250 open roles listed on its website.
Wise CEO Kristo Kaarmann, meanwhile, said the London-based money transfer company was in a “different position” from technology companies letting staff leave.
“Wise’s years of building as a profitable long-term company are paying off now,” Kaarman wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
“So much demand for international banking, we can not hire people fast enough to fix it.”
Meanwhile, the German digital bank N26 stated that “it has no current plans to reduce the number of employees”. The company’s last value was $ 9 billion.
“We will continue to make strategic investments for the development of our team with an emphasis on product, technology, compliance and financial crime prevention,” said a N26 spokesman.
It marks a stark contrast to Klarna. The company buy now, pay later – which allows buyers to share their purchases in equal, monthly installments – said it plans to cut about 700 roles due to the dangerous economic climate.
“When we set our business plans for 2022 last fall, it was a very different world from what we are in today,” Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski told staff in a pre-recorded video Monday.
“Since then, we have seen a tragic and unnecessary war in Ukraine unfold, a change in the consumer climate, a sharp rise in inflation, an extremely volatile stock market and a possible recession.”
Other financial technology companies, such as Robinhood and Better.com, have also taken steps to cut jobs and cut costs this year.
Digital financing received a major boost from the Covid pandemic as people turned to online channels to make payments, apply for loans and trade stocks. However, the industry has hit 2022, as the war in Ukraine, rising inflation and higher interest rates have led investors to question the high valuations in the area.
Wise, for example, has lost almost two-thirds of its market value since its listing in July 2021.
Rishi Khosla, CEO of UK online lender OakNorth, said there were “huge bubbles” in fintech – from the market now, pay later in encryption. He said the BNPL had been allowed to flourish largely thanks to “regulatory arbitrage”.
“Ultimately, the regulation will reach them and therefore this opportunity is not going to continue,” he said.
Klarna is reportedly seeking a 34% discount on its last investment round, which valued the company at $ 46 billion. A Klarna spokeswoman denied the allegations.
Asked if Revolut plans to follow suit, a company spokesman said he had no intention of doing so.