N26 and Monese Boost Fintech; ThredUP Launches Fashion Footprint Calculator


DTC’s Daily Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: N26 and Monese boost fintech; ThredUP launches Fashion Footprint Calculator; and Busuu acquires video tutoring company. 

N26 and Monese boost fintech

Fintech’s outlook for 2020 has been given a boost by growth announcements for N26 and Monese. 

Co-founder and CEO of German smartphone bank N26, Valentin Stalf told Reuters that the challenger bank now boasts five million customers. The figure represents a significant increase from its 3.5 million users last summer, with European markets proving the most fertile region for growth.

The news follows an announcement from UK-based fintech Monese that it has reached 2 million users and is en route to become the country’s next unicorn. Customer growth tripled during 2019, with 9,000 new customers now joining Monese every day.

Norris Koppel, founder and CEO of Monese, comments: “ It took 42 months to get to one million customers and only eight months to reach today’s milestone. We started Monese with one goal – to provide financial freedom anywhere and everywhere. We’re beginning to expand this and are seeing huge popularity in big global cities across Europe.”

The London and Tallin-based startup, which targets expats and immigrants who typically struggle to get a traditional bank account, is currently in talks to raise another £100m from investors. Should the negotiations be successful this investment would value the company at more than £1bn.

ThredUP launches Fashion Footprint Calculator

ThredUP has created thredUP’s Fashion Footprint Calculator, in partnership with independent environmental research firm Green Story. It’s a tool to quickly determine one’s carbon footprint associated with clothing purchase, care, and disposal habits, and to find out how small actions like shopping secondhand or air drying clothes can reduce this footprint.

While most people want to shop more sustainably in 2020, they have no idea how to reduce their fashion footprint. The tool has been created keeping this in mind.

The calculator makes calculations on the basis of a fashion footprint quiz.

“While it’s universally known that fashion pollution is a problem, we were surprised to find that most consumers don’t think their individual clothing choices matter. The reality is, to change course, both brands and consumers need to take action and make positive changes,” said Erin Wallace, VP of Integrated Marketing at ThredUP. “We know most consumers want to do better, but aren’t sure how. ThredUP’s Fashion Footprint Calculator aims to show how each one of us can play a role in reducing the carbon footprint of our individual closets to collectively create a more sustainable fashion future.”

Busuu acquires video tutoring company

Language-learning platform Busuu, which has fast expanded to take on traditional giants like Duolingo, says it has acquired the live video tutoring company Verbling for an undisclosed amount. 

As a result, Busuu will now use the Verbling platform to expand into the live video tutoring space for its consumer users and corporate clients.

Busuu says it recently surpassed 100 million users globally, makes it one of the world’s fastest-growing edtech companies. It says it reached cash flow break-even last year, and plans to generate more than USD$40m in revenues in 2020.

CEO and co-founder Bernhard Niesner said “we also plan to go public in the future.”

Speaking to TechCrunch, he said: “We are operating in the massive USD$60bn global language learning market, with digital language learning only representing a tiny 10% market share right now. This digital part will grow fast due to wider consumer adoption driven by better learning outcomes, expected to reach USD$17bn market value in 2027. Getting access to the capital markets would allow us to accelerate our growth, expand into other learning areas and build a truly globally leading, multi-billion-dollar, digital learning business.”

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