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Revolut: Building the first global financial super app with Google Cloud

About Revolut

Revolut is building the world’s first truly global financial superapp to help people get more from their money. In 2015, Revolut launched in the UK offering a multi-currency card, money transfers and currency exchange. Today, more than 20 million customers around the world use dozens of Revolut’s innovative banking products to make more than 250 million transactions a month. Across personal and business accounts, Revolut helps customers improve their financial health, gives them more control, and connects people seamlessly across the world.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: United Kingdom

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Revolut used Compute Engine to build an infrastructure that can scale at speed with rapid, automated deployments, while maintaining stability and security.

Google Cloud results

  • Gives flexibility to automate deployments multiple times a day with Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud APIs
  • Maintains resilience with snapshots for efficiency and minimal storage space
  • Helps keep sensitive projects secure with easy segregation
  • Allows Revolut to easily scale up vertically and horizontally within seconds
  • Keeps Revolut's infrastructure compliant with multiple certifications with the shared responsibility model

Snapshots multi-terabyte databases in minutes

Revolut gives people and businesses more control over their finances, and offers data-driven insights and personalization that empowers its customers to make smarter decisions about how they spend, save or grow their money.

"As a fast-growing startup, pace of innovation is very important for us. With Google Cloud, we could build an environment where we can have continuous delivery, releasing as much as we can as quickly as possible."

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder, Revolut

Revolut launched in 2015, offering transfers and foreign exchange faster and cheaper than legacy banks. Seven years later, more than 20 million customers in more than 35 countries around the world use Revolut to manage their finances across an ever-growing suite of powerful and easy-to-use products.

The key to scaling up sustainably was to build an infrastructure that could automate updates and maintenance as much as possible, freeing up time for its developers and engineers to perfect the product. To do that, Revolut turned to Google Cloud.

"As a fast-growing startup, pace of innovation is very important for us," says Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder at Revolut. "With Google Cloud, we could build an environment where we can have continuous delivery, releasing as much as we can as quickly as possible."

Automating deployment, kick-starting innovation

When Revolut began, it worked with another provider to create the initial cloud-based solution. However, as the company quickly gathered more momentum and customers, it became clear that a change was essential to support the rapid growth. Revolut wanted to automate as many of its processes as possible, especially in terms of deployment.

After testing a range of solutions from different providers, Revolut chose Google Cloud for its new infrastructure. The company already used Google Workspace for its productivity and email platform, so becoming familiar with the new environment was easy.

"The advantage of Google Cloud for us, is that everything is very simple and intuitive," says Vlad. "Our solution integrated with the infrastructure very easily. We didn't have to reinvent the wheel."

"Incremental snapshotting is my favorite Google Compute Engine feature. With the incremental feature, only the initial snapshot is big. The subsequent snapshots are much more efficient in terms of time and storage. Instead of backups lasting up to twenty hours, we now get a snapshot in around five minutes."

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder, Revolut

Revolut built its core infrastructure with Google Compute Engine virtual machines, which gave its engineers the perfect balance of ease of use and control over its security. With Google Cloud Identity and Access Management, Revolut could easily set up highly secure, separate instances for its main infrastructure and its application. "We want to protect our infrastructure perimeter so it's very important for us to be able to deploy the application separately," says Vlad.

The company also made extensive use of Google Cloud APIs in conjunction with a third-party automation tool to achieve fully automated "infrastructure as code" provisioning and management of the platform. This allowed Revolut's engineers to speed up their deployments and easily roll back if necessary.

Google Cloud Identity and Access Management enabled Revolut to assign permissions to Google Cloud resources simply and quickly "out of the box" without compromising security.

Keeping Revolut's multi-terabyte databases highly secure is essential. In the past, Revolut invested time and resources into full backups and restoration, which were slow and costly. As part of the migration to Google Cloud, Revolut completely redesigned its backup solution around incremental disk snapshots in Compute Engine. With snapshots, Revolut could continue to backup data more securely while minimizing the resource cost.

"Incremental snapshotting is my favorite Google Compute Engine feature," says Vlad. "With the incremental feature, only the initial snapshot is big. The subsequent snapshots are much more efficient in terms of time and storage. Instead of backups lasting up to twenty hours, we now get a snapshot in around five minutes."

Stability and speed for sustainable scalability

Revolut used Google Cloud to build an infrastructure that can scale at speed without sacrificing stability, automate deployment without compromising control, and maintain the security standards that are required of a financial services company. The company's developers and engineers have found creating instances much easier with Google Compute Engine, allowing them to build multiple instances for each of the applications that make up the Revolut platform. With the auto-scaling option on the applications' clusters, the developers don't have to worry anymore about adding more resources when there is a higher demand for their services.

"With Google Cloud, we can scale our environment on demand in minutes with zero downtime. That allows us to support our fast-paced growth and is key for innovation."

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder, Revolut

"Google Cloud is more efficient for us in terms of cost and it's more stable," says Vlad. "We can have each application running multiple instances, so everything is resilient and we don't have any downtime when we deploy new instances."

As well as providing stability, Google Cloud has helped Revolut to improve the speed of its operations. That means that while its customers can enjoy a continuously smooth service, the engineers can focus on building new products and improving current ones.

"With Google Cloud, we can scale our environment on demand in minutes with zero downtime," says Vlad. "That allows us to support our fast-paced growth and is key for innovation."

Google Cloud for a global vision

Revolut operates in more than 35 countries around the world and leverages Google's extensive global network of data centers to maintain an excellent standard of service for its users, wherever they are, whilst continuing supporting the expansion to additional markets, both functionally and geographically.

"We are building a financial platform for individuals and business across the world," says Vlad. "Google can offer us infrastructure that is seamless across regions. That's a huge benefit for us in helping us to achieve our global goals."

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About Revolut

Revolut is building the world’s first truly global financial superapp to help people get more from their money. In 2015, Revolut launched in the UK offering a multi-currency card, money transfers and currency exchange. Today, more than 20 million customers around the world use dozens of Revolut’s innovative banking products to make more than 250 million transactions a month. Across personal and business accounts, Revolut helps customers improve their financial health, gives them more control, and connects people seamlessly across the world.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: United Kingdom