Monzo co-founder wanted challenger bank sold in 2020

Monzo co-founder Jonas Templestein is leaving Monzo and in his leaving letter to staff, he detailed some of the highlights and low points of his time at the challenger bank.
Monzo co-founder wanted challenger bank sold in 2020

A Monzo co-founder and many of its stakeholders wanted the challenger bank sold in 2020, it was said today.

Monzo co-founder Jonas Templestein is leaving the challenger bank, marking the last of its five founders to leave Monzo. The other co-founders to have exited are Tom Blomfield, Gary Dolman, Jason Bates, and Paul Rippon.

In a letter to his co-workers, Templestein, who has spent nine years at Monzo, paid tribute to CEO TS Anil and chief operating officer Sujata Bhatia.

He cited the pair’s “unwavering belief” that Monzo would “overcome the odds” as it battled several challenges in 2020.

Templestein said:

“I want to especially recognise and thank Sujata and TS.

“When they joined in 2020, a funding round had just fallen apart due to the pandemic, we were losing a lot of money, hadn’t shipped a successful feature in a long while and were struggling with a series of incidents.

“Regulators were (rightfully!) concerned about our business model.

“Many of our stakeholders, and even myself, at times, believed it would be best for our customers and staff if we took the “easy” route and sold the company.

“But not Sujata and TS. They decided to join us, fully aware of the challenges, driven by a deep-rooted belief in our mission.

“Their relentless effort and unwavering belief that we could overcome the odds inspired me and many of you I’ve spoken to, not to give up. And somehow, together, we got through it.”

Templestein, who was previously Monzo’s technology chief, had been on parental leave but is now leaving the bank for good.

Monzo’s new CTO is Matej Pfajfar, who has been in the CTO role since February this year.

Templestein also offered some insight into his reason for leaving Monzo.

He added:

“I’ve been on parental leave and really enjoyed spending more time with my family, getting back into coding (Elixir!) and working on little toy projects (quite literally, in one case, a talking toy for my daughter).

"We're about to put down roots in the beautiful Cotswolds, and I feel incredibly lucky that I can be there and spend so much time with my family during that transition.”

He said the moment felt “right” to leave Monzo.

He added:

"This moment feels right. One in six adults in the UK now use Monzo and we’re growing faster than ever.

“We’ve been consistently profitable since March, are launching great products quickly and have constructive relationships with our regulators.

“Matej has hit the ground running as CTO in February and we haven’t had any major platform incidents in two years (jinx!). In other words, we’re doing really well."

Lead image: prostooleh

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