Ariadne Capital Case Study : Monitise

Company description

Monitise plc (LSE: MONI.L) is the global trusted enabler in Mobile Money solutions, with proven technology and expertise to enable financial institutions and other service providers to offer a wide range of mobile banking, payments and commerce services to their customers in developed, emerging and hybrid territories.

The British company has a global reach. As well as partnerships with many UK high street banks, Monitise provides services to more than 250 financial institutions in the United States and has a global partnership with Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) to deliver its services to more than 1.9 billion card-holders. In June 2011, Monitise announced a new five-year commercial agreement with Visa to accelerate the execution of Visa's global strategy to provide the next generation of payments solutions. Monitise has been identified by the WEF as a ‘Technology Pioneer’ on the basis of its ability to enable societal change on a global scale.

Ariadne Capital Impact
Ariadne has been a close adviser to the business since November 2004. Ariadne has helped Monitise find and recruit key talent including Board Directors and their Chief Wireless Officer. Several investors have invested in Monitise as a result of hearing Ariadne speaking about what they were doing. Ariadne has made introductions to banks [First Direct] who have become customers, and has helped to shape strategy, raise profile and gain intelligence on the competitive landscape.

Key Information
Founded in 2002 by Alastair Lukies and Steve Atkinson
De-merged from Morse and Floated on AIM in June 2007
Market Cap: £193m
Total revenues (2010): £6m
Over 100m transactions per year
More than 4 million registered customers
Global Reach: Offices and operations in the UK, US, Asia Pacific, India and Africa

Alastair Lukies - CEO & Co-Founder
Alastair is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Monitise. Incredibly charismatic, and a great leader of people, Alastair Lukies has built - not only a great firm - but played a significant role in the creation of an industry - "mobile money". Monitise is his third entrepreneurial venture. He was a co-founder of, the e-portal for Westminster, and prior to that he built and sold a conferences company in Malaysia.

CEO View
“Ariadne’s corporate finance advice, block and tackling, introductions, and friendship thus far in the Monitise journey has helped to accelerate our trajectory. Julie and her team, have an unbeatable network, huge reserves of empathy, and a work ethic and clock speed which means that they are great friends of the entrepreneur."

Ecosystem Economics
Monitise focuses entirely on the delivery of Mobile Money solutions. It has become established as a world leader by aligning itself with banks, mobile operators and payments schemes. Monitise perfectly exemplifies ‘Ecosystem Economics’ TM – an industrial model where each stakeholder is incentivised to drive market adoption.

Models which do not support an ecosystem approach to embracing banks, retailers, and others, often struggle to get key stakeholders fundamental to their business model on board: they operate a "tribe", closed loop set up e.g. going head to head with the banks. Any digital money service needs a collaborative network effect and to be creating network value. Once lots of services are signed up, it becomes more worthwhile for customers to adopt the system and that then encourages more services to sign up. Where enabling businesses like Monitise stand out is that they have proved successful in getting the banks, mobile operators, retailers and other stakeholders on board and part of the platform's ecosystem. In addition, they are driving new digital revenues for banks and retailers through their Mobile Money Network joint venture, which has Stuart Rose as non-executive Chairman. The network is soon to launch Simply Tap, a pioneering, common sense approach to buying products and services via a mobile phone.