The CEO of a banking startup reveals how hard work and long hours spurred his company to a $1.7 billion valuation in less than 3 years

RevolutRevolut cofounders Vlad Yatsenko, left, and Nikolay Storonsky.
  • Revolut, the London-based banking startup founded in 2015, is now valued at $US1.7 billion.
  • Revolut’s CEO Nikolay Storonsky is known for instilling his company with a rigorous work ethic.
  • Revolut employees typically work 13 hour days and over the weekend. While this might be a contributing factor to Revolut’s success, some employees say the long hours are taxing.

Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky is a strong believer in hard work.

Since his company’s launch in 2015, the Russian-born founder has spurred his company’s worth to a valuation of $US1.7 billion, and he says he owes it all to his rigid work ethic.

Storonsky’s conception of work contradicts Silicon Valley’s quixotic, often non-conformist values; the founder has long attributed the rapid growth of his London-based banking startup to late hours and tenacious diligence.

In an interview with Business Insider last year, the founder said that Revolut’s underlying company ethos is all about “getting shit done.”

At Revolut, employees often work 13 hours a day, Storonsky said. While these hours aren’t formally enforced, Storonsky said that he hires people who are “really motivated…and as a result, they work long hours.” Work days have a tendency to spill over into the weekends, as well, the founder said.

While the vast majority of Storonsky’s own time is devoted to his company, the founder said that he still allows time to sleep (around five hours a night) and enjoys a single leisure activity: kite-surfing.

Storonsky’s diligence has paid off. His company, which provides a mobile banking platform, announced on Thursday that it raised $US250 million in new capital, bringing the company’s worth to nearly $US2 billion. The company now says the app has crossed 2 million users around the world, with 250,000 daily active users.

And while Revolut’s success relies on its employees’ dedication, as Forbes points out, its demanding hours might be wearing workers thin. A glimpse at the company’s recent Glassdoor reviews reveals that a few purported employees are unhappy with the company’s culture, with one former employee calling it “Not the place for you if you value your mental health,” Forbes notes.

Another Glassdoor reviewer writes, “Avoid like the plague if you are at least somewhat experienced” and said that work/life balance was non-existent. Another reviewer describes Revolut’s long hours as “quite bad.”

“It is impossible to have a normal 9-5 shift,” they said.

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