UK challenger bank Monzo has received passporting permission to operate in the Republic of Ireland.

Monzo, which has raised more than £100m from investors including Passion Capital, Goodwater Capital and Thrive Capital, says Ireland is the first step in its plans for international expansion.

Valued at £280m following a £71m raise in November last year, Monzo will look to move into other European countries throughout 2018. The firm is also eyeing a potential expansion into the United States.

Thomas George, head of International at Monzo, commented on the news: “We’re thrilled to have received official passporting permission to offer Monzo in the Republic of Ireland.

“Beyond unlocking a whole new set of customers who can soon get their hands on a Monzo account, this moment is particularly exciting because Ireland will be Monzo’s first step outside the UK, as we begin our journey to bring Monzo to the world.”

FinTech firm Stripe, Welsh-born VC Michael Mortiz and Orange Digital Ventures have also backed Monzo, which claims to have more than 550,000 users.

Known for its signature orange card, Monzo first offered a mobile app and prepaid debit card. In April 2017, the firm launched its current account.

The news of Monzo’s expansion into Ireland comes after Starling Bank, announced the same move following its own approval from the Bank of England under the EU’s passporting arrangements.