Revolut, Europe’s $33 billion fintech giant, launches a travel booking feature
European fintech giant Revolut is jumping into the travel industry.
The London-based firm launched a new feature Tuesday called Stays, which lets users book hotels and other accommodation through its app.
Customers can receive up to 10% cashback on bookings made through Revolut, the company said.
The move marks a challenge to travel industry giants like Booking Holdings, Expedia and TripAdvisor. It’s also the company’s first product to launch outside the realm of finance.
“As the world begins to cautiously open up, we know everyone is desperate to get away whenever they can — whether it’s to Margate or Mallorca,” said Marsel Nikaj, Revolut’s head of savings and lifestyle.
“We’ve built Stays to make it easy for people to find and book their perfect break in their ideal destination. After 18 months of endless restrictions and lockdowns, we want to give people more and make their money travel further.”
Revolut began life in 2015 as a digital-only banking and payments platform for spending abroad without paying steep currency exchange fees. The company has since expanded its offering, rolling out new features for trading shares and cryptocurrency.
The firm is one of a number of popular “neobanks” that have emerged in Europe and other parts of the world, luring mostly younger customers with a slick user experience and colorful bank cards.
Rivals include Monzo and Starling in the U.K., N26 in Germany and Chime in the U.S.
Last week, Revolut was valued at $33 billion in a monster funding round, making it Britain’s top fintech start-up and the second-largest fintech in Europe. The company has 16 million users globally.
Revolut is aiming to become what’s known as a “super app,” which offers multiple services through one interface. The trend has gained traction in Asia, popularized by companies like Grab and GoTo in Southeast Asia and Alibaba and Tencent in China.
Revolut’s Stays feature is first launching in the U.K. on Tuesday before rolling out to Europe and the U.S. in the coming months. It will only offer accommodation for now, but there are plans to include flights, car hire and other travel options later down the line.
It comes as some European countries are tightening restrictions on public life due to fears over a resurgence in Covid cases. In stark contrast, England lifted nearly all its remaining coronavirus curbs on Monday.