Hello everyone, this is Jonas, one of the founders of Monzo. After nine years at Monzo, my time here is coming to an end.
Before I leave, I’d like to thank all of you – our customers and community. You’re the most passionate, supportive and critical (in a good way!) group I could ever have hoped for. Building products with and for you all has without a doubt been the most fun I’ve had in my career.
Thank you so much for going on this journey with us. For trusting us with your business even when we were small. For being vocal with your feedback and holding us to a high standard of excellence. And thank you especially to those of you who were kind enough to stop in the blistering cold at Old Street roundabout in 2015 when we were trying (not very successfully, in my case) to hand out the first Monzo cards to passers-by 🤣
I just shared a letter with my coworkers reflecting on how far we’ve come, and why I am excited about Monzo’s future. I thought some of you might find it interesting, so I’ve included it below.
Hello everyone 👋
After nine incredible years at Monzo (half my adult life!), it's time for me to move on.
This moment feels right. 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. Matej has hit the ground running as CTO in February and we haven’t had any major platform incidents in two years (jinx!). In other words, we’re doing really well!
Meanwhile, I’ve been on parental leave and really enjoyed spending more time with my family, getting back into coding (Elixir!) and working on little toy projects (quite literally, in one case, a talking toy for my daughter). We're about to put down roots in the beautiful Cotswolds, and I feel incredibly lucky that I can be there and spend so much time with my family during that transition.
Some of you have asked if I had any parting thoughts, so here are the two points I’d like to leave you with.
The first point is that it is now within our control whether or not we truly make money work for everyone. Some of the most fun we’ve all had over the years was to dream up features that we would eventually get to build. You know, once we had the basics right and put the necessary infrastructure in place. It’s been amazing to see some of these things finally being shipped this year. I can now manage my savings, investments, mortgage and credit cards in the Monzo app. Businesses can take card payments right on their phone. Customers can see in the app whether they’re on the phone with Monzo or a scammer. And there’s so much more to come. At this point, we just have to go build it!
The second point is that you must not allow success to lead to complacency. As a company, we’ve performed best when facing an existential threat. Standing still was never an option, as we knew we would simply run out of money before long. Now that we are no longer losing money, it will be all too easy to argue that we shouldn’t try some new and uncertain thing to help our customers, because that is always more risky than doing nothing. You will need to treat the risk of not achieving our mission as an existential threat itself. That is what it means to be a mission-driven company.
Finally, I want to say a big thanks to all of you. Building Monzo together with all Monzonauts past and present has been the privilege and joy of my career. Without you none of this would have been possible. Everything I know, I have learned from you.
I want to especially recognise and thank Sujata and TS. When they joined in 2020, 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.
But not Sujata and TS. They decided to join us, fully aware of the challenges, driven by a deep-rooted belief in our mission. Their relentless effort and unwavering belief that we could overcome the odds inspired me and many of you I’ve spoken to, not to give up. And somehow, together, we got through it.
People say that all great companies have multiple founding moments, and 2020 was one of those moments for Monzo. As far as I'm concerned, Sujata and TS are just as much founders of Monzo as myself or anyone else.
My last day is today, but I’m just a message away and will surely visit whenever in London.
Goodbye for now,