Successful Fintech Monobank Becomes Apple of Discord among Shareholders

Fintech companies are rapidly developing in the CIS countries, prominently in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, where the leader of the Fintech business is Monobank, Ukraine’s first virtual bank, allowing customers to conduct transactions directly from their smartphones.

A mobile application and a joint banking project of Sergiy Tigipko’s Universal Bank and the IT consulting team Fintech Band, the digital bank Monobank is, in fact, the first mobile bank in Ukraine without branches.

The Fintech company was founded by former PrivatBank senior executives. By September 2021, the number of active mono cards increased to 4.3 million, which is twice as much as in 2020 while the retail loan portfolio grew by 1.5 times over the year.

Ukrainian press has published that the main owners of the international consortium led by LetterOne – Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, and their partners- recently offered $ 1 billion for Monobank, an offer which was confirmed by Sergei Popenko, the head of the Supervisory Board of Universal Bank.

Oleg Gorokhovsky, on the other hand, said that the deal did not go through because the partners could not agree among themselves. On top of that, other disagreements have arisen among Monobank shareholders.

After Dmytro Dubilet, the famous start-up founder and banker, left Monobank as a shareholder, he’s been trying to use the intellectual know-how and technologies of the bank and replicate them in other countries without taking into account the interests of the other shareholders.

After leaving Monobank, he repeatedly tried, but without much success, to create his own business.

First, he launched a joint project with the Azerbaijani bank Unibank – a mobile bank in Azerbaijan called Leobank which resembles Monobank in terms of function description and design. And last week he announced on his Instagram page the start of his new business project “Fintech Farm”.

According to Dmytro Dubilet, the company will launch digital banks in different countries of the world, starting with Azerbaijan and Nigeria, trumpeting that Fintech Farm will become a “billion-dollar business” and its employees will become “dollar millionaires.”

Although statistically, 90% of pre-seed startups die, extravagant and intensive publicity and promotion have become a staple among fintech startups, in an effort to attract venture and system investors to the project, if necessary, and quickly develop the project.

A word has spread now that Monobank may file a lawsuit against Dmytro Dubilet. The political scientist Dmitry Marunich says that after Dmytro Dubilet’s announcement about launching Leobank, Monobank’s lawyers were given the task of preparing for a trial based on copyright infringement accusations against him.

The only issue that now remains to be decided is who will be the defendant in the lawsuit- Dmitro Dubilet and his fintech company or the bank in Azerbaijan – is being decided.

Meanwhile, communication among shareholders is currently going through legal advisers. As it became known this month, a number of shareholders visited London in an apparent effort to find a legal solution through filing a lawsuit against Dmytro Dubilet in the English jurisdiction.