Digital challenger bank Starling is eyeing a float on the London Stock Exchange within the next three years as it forecasts a first full year in profit by the end of 2021.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Starling founder Anne Boden, says: "I didn't do all of this to sell out to a big bank. I think the future for us will be an IPO in two to three years' time.
"We're demonstrating a path to profitability that other digital banks have not, and we plan to break even at the end of next year."
In 2019, the fledgeling startup passed one million customer accounts and £1 billion on deposit, at the same time more than doubling employee headcount to 900+.
Having raised £263 million since its founding in 2014, the bank posted a £26.8 million loss in 2018.
In a New Year blog post, Boden takes a thinly veiled dig at app-only rival Monzo, which has racked up over three million customers since launch, but reported losses of £33.1 million in 2018.
"I do sometimes wonder if those commentators on the fintech scene who prize customer numbers over quality of revenue, have been studying for the wrong test," she writes. "It doesn’t matter how many customers you have if you haven’t figured out how to be profitable and are spending huge amounts servicing unprofitable accounts. What matters is how people are using your bank."
At Starling the average age of customers is 35 for the personal account. The average balance on active personal accounts is £932, with an average of £1,140 coming into the account each month.
Says Boden: "Average annualised revenue is running at £40 per active account, while our annualised revenue run rate is £30 million and growing at double digit rates every month. We expect to become profitable by the end of 2020 and to have our first full year in profit by the end of 2021."