Fintech rivals Revolut and Wise are still recruiting

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Nikolay Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut.

harry murphy | Sportsfile for the Web Summit via Getty Images

Not all fintech unicorns are cutting jobs.

After Klarna announced plans to lay off 10% of its workforce on Monday, some rival fintechs have made it clear they have no intention of cutting jobs or freezing hiring.

Revolut, the $33 billion digital banking startup, said the company is “actively hiring”, with more than 250 vacancies listed on its website.

Meanwhile, Wise CEO Kristo Kaarmann said the London-based money transfer company was in a “different place” to tech companies laying off staff.

“Years of building Wise as a long-term profitable business are paying off,” Kaarmann tweeted on Wednesday.

“So much demand for international banking, we can’t hire people fast enough to build it.”

Meanwhile, German digital bank N26 said it had “no current plans to downsize”. The company was last valued at $9 billion.

“We will continue to make strategic investments to grow our team with a focus on products, technology, compliance and financial crime prevention,” an N26 spokesperson said.

It marks a striking contrast to Klarna. The buy now, pay later business – which allows buyers to split their purchases into equal monthly installments – said it plans to cut around 700 roles due to a downturn in the economic climate.

“When we made our business plans for 2022 in the fall of last year, it was a very different world to the one we find ourselves in today,” Klarna CEO Sebastian said on Monday. Siemiatkowski, to staff in a pre-recorded video.

“Since then, we have seen a tragic and unnecessary war unfold in Ukraine, changing consumer sentiment, a sharp rise in inflation, a highly volatile stock market and a likely recession.”

Other fintech companies, such as Robinhood and Better.com, have also taken steps to cut jobs and control costs This year.

Digital finance has received a major boost from the Covid pandemic as people have turned to online channels to make payments, apply for loans and trade stocks. But the sector took a hit in 2022 as war in Ukraine, rising inflation and rising interest rates led investors to question lofty valuations in the space.

Wise, for example, has lost nearly two-thirds of its market value since listing in July 2021.

Rishi Khosla, CEO of British online lender OakNorth, said there had been “massive bubbles” in fintech – buy now, pay crypto later. He said BNPL had been able to thrive largely due to “regulatory arbitrage”.

“Ultimately regulation will catch up with them, and so this opportunity is not going to continue,” he said.

Klarna is would have seeking funds at a 34% discount to its last investment round, which valued the company at $46 billion. A Klarna spokesperson dismissed this as speculation.

When asked if Revolut planned to do the same, a company spokesperson said they had no plans to do so.

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