While Assure Hedge was set up to offer solutions to small businesses, it is now focusing on banks and foreign exchange brokers.
Yesterday (25 July), Irish fintech firm Assure Hedge announced that it has raised €1.62m. This brings the total figure that the company has raised to date close to €4m.
This funding round was led by the company’s new chair Richard Hayes, who founded and led IFG Group for 17 years, as well as Rob Smith, the former chief technology officer of Getco. According to the Irish Times, each invested around €600,000, with a number of angel investors also contributing to the fund.
Set up to disrupt the traditional methods of currency hedging, Assure Hedge provides automated digital foreign exchange (FX) hedging solutions to banks, FX brokers and similar entities to integrate into their existing product suite.
The company is based at Dogpatch Labs in the IFSC’s CHQ building in Dublin.
Assure Hedge says its tech makes “the transfer and protection of foreign currencies straightforward, affordable and accessible to individuals and businesses of all sizes” using its “API and white-label solutions that are easily integrated into [a] business’s website, trading functions and treasury departments”.
Before setting up the company, founder and CEO Barry McCarthy spent more than 15 years working as an FX and derivatives trader in Singapore, Gibraltar, Chicago and London, where he noticed gaps that were consistent among each market.
With Assure Hedge, he was aiming to address the gap of currency hedging, treasury management and FX solutions targeted towards smaller businesses that were largely ignored by their banks.
From B2C to B2B
While Assure Hedge started out offering its services to small businesses, it is now focusing on banks and FX brokers.
McCarthy told The Irish Times: “We found we offered way more value by partnering with FX brokers that have tens of thousands of customers on their platform and want to add on risk management capabilities to complement what they are doing.”
He said that this was not always the plan for the company and initially thought Assure Hedge would be “like Revolut for hedging”, but it was difficult to attract smaller businesses, so the start-up shifted its focus.
It is now regulated by the FCA, which allows it to provide quick onboarding, interbank rates and a self-service hedging tool.
In his interview with The Irish Times, McCarthy noted that Assure Hedge will likely benefit from Brexit: “Any time there is uncertainty there is potential volatility and so Brexit is good for us as our products can reduce associated currency risks.”
Over the last year, Assure Hedge has appointed a new chairperson, was given the go-ahead to hold client funds, and announced new UK partnerships with Sable FX and Currency Transfer. In March 2019, the start-up announced that it had increased its number of full-time employees to 13.