Monitise is 'Britain's Least Admired Company': What went wrong?

Once an exciting fintech prospect, the mobile payments business has had a disastrous year losing 90% of its share value.

by Andrew Saunders

Formative years

A hunch that, sooner or later, the world's six billion mobile users would want to pay for stuff via their phones led ex-rugby player Alastair Lukies to found mobile payments business Monitise in London in 2003. He teamed up with Vodafone exec Steve Atkinson, got £4m in backing from IT specialist Morse and signed up First Direct as his first client in 2006. A successful IPO on AIM followed, as did investment from Visa amongst others. With a valuation of over £900m by 2013, Monitise looked set to join the Unicorn Club of £1bn start-ups.

Recent history

In 2014 revenues hit their peak of £95m thanks to deals with RBS and HSBC, but despite processing £30bn of transactions annually, trouble was brewing. Blindsided by the rise of the cloud, Monitise was being disrupted: the pay-as-you-go boom made it much harder to sell expensive upfront licences, and also brought massive competition in the shape of Apple and Google. Attempts to pivot to an online subscription model struggled and losses for the year grew 60% to £31.4m. When long-time backer Visa announced it was selling up in September 2014, Monitise's shares tanked, losing over 90% of their value in the subsequent 12 months. Attempts to find a buyer for the business failed, and in March this year Lukies stepped down as CEO. In September, the firm topped off a disastrous year with a whopping loss of £227m and finished last (247th out of 247) in Britain's Most Admired Companies league table, to boot.

Who's in charge?

Glad you asked - it's been hard to keep up recently. Lukies was replaced by Visa exec Elizabeth Buse. But Buse herself departed in September citing 'personal reasons' leaving Lee Cameron, lawyer and former deputy CEO, in charge.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 3 free articles every 90 days
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Take a free trial

Get 30 days unrestricted access to:

  • All the latest news, trends, and developments.
  • Exclusive interviews with CEOs and thought-leaders
  • MT Classroom - giving you an academic grounding without expensive courses
  • Management Matters and other in-depth content.
  • Daily bulletins straight to your inbox

Take a free trial today