Monzo co-founder leaves company after mental health 'struggle'

Tom Blomfield says he no longer finds happiness in his role as president

A finger pressing Monzo's App icon on a phone

The co-founder of the online bank Monzo has made the decision to leave the company in order to focus on his mental health.

Tom Blomfield, who in 2015 helped launch the company alongside Jason Bates, Jonas Huckestein, Paul Rippon, and Gary Dolman, had recently assumed the newly-created title of president after resigning from the Monzo board and his role as CEO.

However, in a candid interview with TechCrunch, Blomfield has admitted to having struggled with his mental well-being due to the effects of the pandemic, and has now revealed that the role hadn’t brought him happiness.

“I stopped enjoying my role probably about two years ago… as we grew from a scrappy startup that was iterating and building stuff people really love, into a really important U.K. bank,” he told the publication.

Blomfield said that he enjoys “working with small groups of passionate people to start and grow stuff from scratch, and create something customers love”.

With over 1,500 employees, Monzo had grown from startup to one of the leading challenger banks, having increased its customer base from 50,000 in 2016 to 4 million in 2020. During the same period, it also managed to grow its revenue from a meagre £50,000 to £67 million.

However, the pandemic had hindered Monzo’s impressive growth, forcing the bank to scrap its plans of hiring 500 new workers, leading to the lay off of hundreds of employees and the closure of its Las Vegas office.

In July, the UK-based startup announced post-tax losses of £113.8 million in its 2020 earnings report, up from the £47.1 million recorded in 2019.

However, Monzo’s luck seemed to have turned around by the end of the year when it managed to raise £60 million during its recent funding round, bringing its total investment for 2020 to £125 million.

“I think the team has done phenomenally well over the last year or so in really difficult circumstances,” Blomfield told TechCrunch.

He also highlighted the need for a greater awareness of mental health struggles at work, adding: “I’m very happy to talk about what’s gone on with me, because I don’t think people do it enough”.

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