CurrencyFair reveals €20m expansion into Asian fintech market

8 Aug 2018

Hong Kong skyline. Image: Banana Republic Images/Shutterstock

Acquisition of Hong Kong’s Convoy Payments opens up access to Chinese and US markets for Irish fintech CurrencyFair.

Money transfer player CurrencyFair has revealed a major expansion into the Asian market as part of a €20m investment drive.

The plan includes the acquisition of Hong Kong’s Convoy Payments, which will pave CurrencyFair’s entry into the Chinese market. This will also open up access to the US market through Convoy Payments’ existing business.

‘The investment will enable us to continue taking our vision of a world of fairer financial services to Asia’

CurrencyFair will launch the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB) on its platform in the next phase.

Money makes the world go round

The acquisition is part of a €20m investment plan to drive rapid global growth which will also see the creation of 90 new jobs over the next 18 months.

The new jobs will be created globally with particular emphasis on product development, customer service, compliance, marketing and global partnership development.

“The investment will enable us to continue taking our vision of a world of fairer financial services to Asia,” said CurrencyFair CEO Paul Byrne.

“In addition to being able to provide more Asian currencies to our 100,000-plus customers, we are very excited about the opportunity to bring our products to the world’s fastest-growing region, which will account for approximately 33pc of global money transfers by 2026.

“We will now be able to provide business payment services for non-Chinese companies seeking to pay their Chinese suppliers as a first step to a broader expansion across the region. Being able to offer RMB gives CurrencyFair access to the inbound Chinese money transfer market, estimated to be worth $61bn in 2016.”

A previous Start-up of the Week, CurrencyFair was founded in 2010 by Brett Meyers and in 2016 it surpassed the $1bn barrier in terms of money-matching services.

With CurrencyFair having reached profitability earlier this year, the global growth plan will be funded from internal cash flow and with the support of four significant Asian and European investment firms.

The investors in the plan include Hong Kong-based Convoy Global, UK-based growth investor Octopus Ventures, US and European alternatives investor Harbert European Growth Capital and liquidity provider to European growth companies Seligman Private Equity Select.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years