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  5. Monzo Founder Leaves Troubled London for San Francisco


Monzo Founder Leaves Troubled London for San Francisco

Tom Blomfield co-founded the Monzo banking app in 2015 and left the company in 2021. Credit: SAM BUSH

Monzo's founder left London for San Francisco because he says the US is “much more accepting” of tech companies than the UK.

Tom Blomfield, who co-founded the banking app in 2015 and left the company in 2021. , said the UK “is not always kind to ambitious founders who want to do something different.”

Mr Blomfield made the comments announcing he would join Y Combinator, a start-up investment firm, as partner. . He said the company was working on projects ranging from “AI to space rockets to supersonic aircraft.”

He told Bloomberg: “This ambition and this kind of belief that you can achieve anything, I I think very, very strong and intoxicating, and there are not many of them in London.”

“The US capital markets in the IPO [initial public offering] stage are much, much deeper and much more acceptable to high-tech companies. I don't think that will change anytime soon.”

Y Combinator helps startup founders by providing them with access to capital and expert advice to accelerate the growth of their companies. Companies that have participated in the Y Combinator program include Airbnb, online forum Reddit, and file sharing site Dropbox. Mr. Blomfield used the program to launch Monzo after “struggled to raise money in London.”

Revolut boss Nikolai Storonsky criticized Britain's “emergency bureaucracy”; as his company is trying to get a banking license. Credit: Luke McGregor/Bloomberg

The departure of Mr Bloomfield will heighten fears that London is becoming an increasingly unattractive destination for startup founders looking to invest in their businesses.

Earlier this month, Nikolai Storonsky, chief executive of rival Revolut, complained that Britain's “emergency bureaucracy” had blocked the company's application for a UK banking license.

The Telegraph later reported that Bank of England officials planned to reject Revolut's application due to concerns over its bills.

Meanwhile, ministers expressed annoyance at the UK sector's apparent hostility to business.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt suggested that Competition and Markets ( CMA) to “realize their broader responsibility for economic growth” after Microsoft's £55bn lockdown. merger with Call of Duty creator Activision.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said the EU is a better place to do business than the UK in response to the decision.

Regulators in the US also oppose the buyout, while their counterparts in Brussels refuse the deal.

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