Fintech firm Revolut gets green light to expand to Japan and Singapore

  • Revolut said it had acquired a remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and full authorization from Japan's Financial Services Agency.
  • It intends to launch its mobile banking app in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter of 2019, and is looking to select Singapore to host its APAC headquarters.
  • More than 50,000 people in the APAC region have signed up to a waiting list to create an account with Revolut, the firm said.
Nikolay Storonsky, chief executive of Revolut, on stage at the MoneyConf fintech event in Lisbon, Portugal.
Seb Daly | Web Summit | Getty Images
Nikolay Storonsky, chief executive of Revolut, on stage at the MoneyConf fintech event in Lisbon, Portugal.

British mobile bank Revolut has obtained licenses to operate in Japan and Singapore as it readies an expansion into Asia.

The London-based financial technology firm said Thursday that it had acquired a remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and full authorization from Japan's Financial Services Agency.

Revolut offers users a prepaid debit card and a current account, as well as premium features like cryptocurrency trading and free unlimited foreign exchange.

It said Thursday that it intends to launch its platform in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in the first quarter of 2019, and is looking to select Singapore to host its APAC headquarters.

Revolut also has plans to eventually release its app in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

"We have confidence that Revolut will continue to be a driving force as we expand globally, developing a range of exciting new services for increasingly connected consumers in APAC," Revolut Chief Executive Nikolay Storonsky said in a statement Thursday.

"It's a huge market and we're already seeing an incredible amount of people demanding our product."

More than 50,000 people in the APAC region have signed up to a waiting list to create an account with Revolut, the firm said.

Revolut added that it is working with Singapore's central bank to advise on legislation being tabled in the country's parliament and aimed at streamlining payments regulation under one single piece of legislation.

It has also partnered with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, property insurer Sompo Japan Insurance and printing firm Toppan.

Revolut has experienced significant growth since it was founded three years ago. It now has a total of 3.2 million customers registered with the app — up 60 percent from the 2 million user count it announced in June — and has processed 245 million transactions with a total transaction volume of more than $32 billion to date.

Investors have poured a total of $336 million into Revolut, with its most recent $250 million funding round giving it a valuation of $1.7 billion. Notable backers of the firm include early Facebook investor DST Global and Dropbox backer Index Ventures.

A recent report by The Times of London said that Revolut is in talks with Japanese tech investment giant SoftBank to raise a fresh round of funding, and that it could rake in as much as $500 million. Revolut declined to comment on that report when contacted by CNBC at the time.