There’s big money in transferring big money: Currencycloud raises £20m

9 Mar 2017

Image: Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

Currencycloud is the latest start-up in the money transfer space to raise significant funding, with Google’s GV leading a £20m round.

Market value estimates are notoriously difficult to accurately nail down, especially the more nascent the industry in question is. For fintech, imagine one of the biggest possible industries on the planet added to what seems like a relentless adoption of endless digital tools.

Despite the difficulty in truly valuing such a tenuous industry as fintech, the grandiose figures bandied about attract investors’ eyes more often than not.

Money, money, money

2017 has proved that. For example, in January, Raisin, a Berlin-based company that lets customers across Europe invest in savings accounts around the EU that offer the best interest rates, raised $30m.

The same month, UK department store giant House of Fraser invested £35m in fintech player Tandem, an app-only challenger bank.

However, it’s the payments space that is perhaps most evolved in the general fintech arena. And Google’s GV seems keen to strike while the iron is hot.

24 hours after it took a stake in Veem – a money transfer start-up, formerly called Align Commerce, that recently raised $24m in a round – GV is at it again.

This time it has led a £20m Series D round for London-based Currencycloud, which builds tools for payment companies.

Send it away

Currencycloud allows companies to send money internationally in a simpler and cheaper way than banks do, all through a simple API.

The company says that it has facilitated nearly $25bn in transactions across more than 200 countries to date. The current funding round brings its total money raised to roughly £30m.

“In recent years, we have seen the rise of the building block economy,” said Mike Laven, CEO of Currencycloud. “Companies can combine services such as AWS, Google Maps, Stripe and Twilio to build innovative new businesses fast and without the overhead of expensive proprietary systems.”

GV general partner Tom Hulme added: “We believe in empowering developers by making it easier for them to add scalable services to their products, ideally with simple APIs.”

Borders no more

“Currencycloud is the leader in providing cross-border payment services in this manner – a real need as companies globalise.”

It’s a big deal for a European fintech start-up, as the region has lagged behind Asia and the US in this space in recent years.

Asian fintech start-ups are raising funding like no other, with $5.4bn secured across 165 deals in 2016. In Europe, a similar number of deals raised just 22pc of that total.

A total of $12.7bn was raised in 836 deals, with US figures topping those of Asia – though its $5.5bn was raised across almost three times as many deals.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic