A cofounder of British fintech unicorn Monzo is set to raise funds from a smattering of high-profile investors for a new venture, Business Insider understands.
Jonas Templestein, who spent almost nine years at Monzo, was the last of its founders to leave the bank when he departed in December.
Now, he’s primed to raise around $5-6 million at a $50 million valuation cap for a new startup, two sources said. The round is not yet finalized and the figures involved are subject to change.
The venture is raising funding via a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE), a fundraising vehicle popularized by Y Combinator as an alternative to a convertible note.
Rather than a conventional equity investment, investors commit a certain amount of funding, like a form of warrant, and in return, receive stock in the company at a future date.
On Friday, February 9, Templestein incorporated a business called Nustom on Companies House alongside Oliver Beattie, formerly VP of architecture at Monzo.
Index Ventures, General Catalyst, and Accel are all set to back the new business, two sources familiar with proceedings said. Y Combinator partner and former Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield, Anthropic founder Tom Brown, and OpenAI are also set to invest in the deal, one source said.
The company could yet raise more funding at a higher valuation cap, one source familiar with the deal said.
Little is known about the new company as yet, but one source said it will use AI models to create simpler web applications for specific purposes, using less code than regular software development products.
Neither Templestein nor Beattie responded to a request for comment from BI. Index, Accel, and General Catalyst declined to comment. Blomfield and OpenAI did not respond when contacted by BI.
Monzo was founded in 2015 with Templestein among its five original cofounders. In a blog post announcing his departure from the company, he indicated he was stepping away from the business in order to spend more time with his family, spending time on toy projects, and coding.
High-quality entrepreneurs coming out of successful tech startups in Europe have been strongly backed by the continent’s VC ecosystem in recent years. Part of this has been a push from investors into the early stage, amid a ghost town of growth funding in recent years, and a sign of confidence in serial founders.
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