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No such thing as bad publicity? How Lanistar got 100,000 users in 72 hours

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

The new UK fintech Lanistar breaks records with 100,000 user sign-ups and 4.1m app impressions in 72 hours after FCA scraps warning.

Lanistar Instagram

Founded by Gurhan Kiziloz, Lanistar is a new challenger banking service that offers a customer-centric alternative to the personal finance products provided by incumbents in the industry. Currently at a pre-launch stage, Lanistar's offering will enable users to consolidate eight bank cards into one and provide what it claims to be the “world’s most secure card.”

Shortly after the release of the firm's hype pre-launch social campaign, the UK financial regulator FCA announced a public warning that Lanistar might actually be operating illegally and offering unauthorised financial products and services.

However, the FCA has eventually withdrawn its warning over Lanistar after the company's promise to amend its marketing communications accordingly, and clarify the current status of its authorisation and regulation to the public. In its official statement, Lanistar also confirmed that its intended future services will be offered through partnering with firms that are already authorised by the FCA.

All publicity is good publicity

Despite all the scrutiny and controversy around the brand, Lanistar had still managed to sign up over 100,000 prospecting users on its waiting list and generate more than 7.8m engagements via its influencer content on Instagram in the first 72 hours.

Moreover, the company attracted 70,000 followers on Instagram and 4.1 million clicks on the company’s online app store.

Lanistar is targeting the millennial and Generation-Z, 18-35 market segments, and hoping to attract customers who are seeking aspirational and lifestyle brands to enrich their daily lives.

To generate hype around the brand, a major focus of Lanistar's pre-launch campaign was on paid social media advertising and influencer marketing, seeking endorsements from social stars like footballer Kevin de Bruyne and model Demi Rose. According to the company's own PR provider, CentropyPR, "Lanistar is offering early supporters and online influencers the opportunity to own part of the company, helping raise the company’s profile and reach its target valuation."

So far, Lanistar has raised a total of £17m in funding over 2 rounds. The company employs 45 full-time staff and has an ambitious plan to quickly become UK's next fintech unicorn with a £1bn valuation.


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