Europe’s later-stage startups continue to be fertile ground for the next generation of founders — and fintech superapp Revolut is no exception.
Alumni from the fintech have so far launched a total of 26 firms, according to a recent report by VC firm Accel and data platform Dealroom — an impressive feat for an eight-year-old company. BNPL provider Klarna, founded in 2005, has produced only five more second-generation startups.
Former employees credit Revolut’s infamous “get shit done” environment as conducive to providing the building blocks for founders.
“You’re always challenged and it’s high-speed,” one former Revolut employee told Sifted earlier this year. “And the exposure you get as an employee is unmatched — you can take on as much as you can handle.”
That exposure lends itself to entrepreneurship, and many employees have struck out on their own, including some solving problems Revolut itself is facing.
Those that leave the SoftBank-backed scaleup often choose to operate in so-called stealth mode and actively avoid public attention.
Founders do so to maintain secrecy around the product and build away from public and industry scrutiny.
To save you the trouble, we’ve done a LinkedIn deep dive to list out the former Revolut employees-turned-founders building in stealth — here’s what we found.
Guilherme Gomes and Joao Alves
Each with more than three years at Revolut, Guilherme Gomes and Joao Alves worked in product and operations respectively. While their LinkedIn pages indicate they’re still working at Revolut, the pair are listed as shareholders of a company named Bleap. Companies House records show that the new endeavour was incorporated early last month.
A profile on the startup community website F6S for Bleap Card lists Gomes as chief product officer at the fledgling fintech. That profile links to seemingly Bleap’s website, which claims that it’s the “world’s first Web3-connected debit card”. It describes Bleap as an NFT debit card linked to a crypto wallet that can be used for everyday purchases and transactions on a blockchain network.
Neither Gomes nor Alves responded to requests to comment.
Most recently part of the team tasked with launching new crypto products for Revolut, Robert Sargsian left the firm in September to found his own company.
Named Due, Sargsian confirms to Sifted that he, along with cofounder and CTO Alex Popov, is building a blockchain-based payment platform using stablecoins — cryptocurrencies pegged to the price of a fiat asset like the US dollar.
“Due is a cross-border payments platform targeting businesses that need access to corridors to emerging markets in Africa or Latin America,” he tells Sifted. “I think of it as a Wise account but on crypto rails.”
Sargsian says that Due has already raised a seed round and is set to launch in October. He declined to share further details on the investment the startup received.
Phuc To, Mikael Peydayesh and Arthur Johanet
As global head of product, Phuc To was considered one of the power players at Revolut, while Mikael Peydayesh and Arthur Johanet headed up the premium & shopping and crypto divisions respectively.
The three are now the cofounders of Boku. Last October, The Block reported that Companies House listings showed that they’d raised £5.8m for the decentralised finance app, bagging VC firms Lakestar and Connect Ventures as lead investors in the round.
When contacted, To denies that Boku has raised money despite the filing on Companies House, saying: “Your source is not correct. I’ve not raised any money recently.” He did not respond to a Sifted request for an update on Boku’s activities.
Chiraayu Sethi was senior product manager at Revolut between 2020 and 2022 where he built out the app’s pet insurance product along with its paid subscription plans. After that he traded pets for peer-to-peer tech, joining blockchain payments company BVNK.
As of the beginning of this year, he’s been building an app named Operator. It’s not currently clear what Operator does and Sethi did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Paulo Guichard and Bhasker Rao
Previously holding leadership roles in operations and risk respectively at Revolut, Paulo Guichard and Bhasker Rao along with CTO Dmitry Persiyanov have been busy building business verification startup Condukt since the first quarter of this year.
When contacted Guichard confirms he’s been working on Condukt but describes a company website that branded it a “business-identity-as-a-service” startup as a placeholder.
A profile on startup job site Wellfound suggests that it’s “well funded by top-tier venture funds”. Guichard declines to comment on whether Condukt had received funding.
The above information was deleted after we made contact with Guichard.
One of the Revolut alumni who jumped ship to trading app Shares, Matthew Acheson has headed up business and brokerage operations at both firms.
In March, he left Shares to work on a new project. A month later, a company named Holistically App was incorporated on Companies House, of which Acheson has at least a 75% stake.
Acheson did not respond to requests for contact.
Nikita Pakutin managed Revolut’s financial wellbeing products during his 10-month tenure at the firm, according to LinkedIn.
In March this year he began work on his own startup. Citing the early nature of the project, he declines to comment further when contacted by Sifted.
Previously team leader of risks and derivatives at Deutsche Bank, Anton Batiaev left the German bank to focus on market-making risk at Revolut, per LinkedIn.
He was then head of Revolut’s trading platform, where he built solutions for its wealth and trading risk calculations. He left in February to join a wealthtech startup in stealth as CTO.
It’s not clear if Batiaev founded this company and he didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Ayelen Denovitzer and Shailendra Sason
For some, one just isn’t enough. Eagle-eyed Sifted readers may already be familiar with Ayelen Denovitzer and Shailendra Sason as the founders of crypto investment app Solvo. Denovitzer and Sason both previously worked in Revolut’s crypto division.
Alongside Solvo, the entrepreneurial pair have been busy building out Qubit Wallet in stealth since February. Qubit is a crypto wallet focusing on the nascent space of blockchain-based gaming.
Denovitzer confirmed the existence of the stealth project to Sifted but declined to share more details.