Monzo co-founder Templestein recalls 2020 existential crisis in farewell letter

Monzo co-founder and former chief technology officer Jonas Templestein is quitting the app-only bank after nine tumultuous years.

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Monzo co-founder Templestein recalls 2020 existential crisis in farewell letter

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Templestein has been on extended parental leave following the installation of Google engineering director Matej Pfajfar as CTO in February this year.

In a parting letter to Monzo staff, he recalls the early years of handing out the first Monzo cards to passersby at Old Street roundabout when the bank was just a scrappy startup. More recently, under a new management team, Monzo has scored its first profit after an existential period in 2020 when it was thought possible the fledgeling bank could go under.

Recounts Templestein: "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."

It was at this time that CEO Tom Blomfield eased himself out of the CEO seat to make way for old-school banker TS Anil amid a conscious effort to move the bank out of the red and prove the business case to investors.

Says Templetstein: "People say that all great companies have multiple founding moments, and 2020 was one of those moments for Monzo. 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."

Templestein is the last of Monzo's five co-counders to leave the bank, following the departures of Tom Blomfield, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman.

Templestein says his immediate future involves being a stay-at-home parent as his family sets down roots in the Cotswolds.

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Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan Founder and CEO at GTM360 Marketing Solutions

I must admit that an old-school banker taking over and rescuing a new-age neobank was not on my bingo card!

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