By some estimations, the foreign exchange market processes a total of around $4 billion a day and within that the value of cross border payments made – that is, between countries – is worth about $200 billion a day, give or take a few dollars. As of today the vast majority of those cross-border payments are done through banks and it’s in their interests to keep the market favourable to themselves. Typically they charge a 4% fee whenever you make a cross-border payments. Plus, making and receiving international payments is still a very manual thing, with nearly 30% of transactions running into issues. That’s an extremely large, fat monopoly waiting to be disrupted, and today The Currency Cloud startup is raising yet another round of funding to attack it.
It’s drawn in £2 million ($3 million) in investment from Notion Capital, the entrepreneur-backed venture capital firm with a focus on Cloud and SaaS which this year closed at $100m second fund.
The investment comes on top of £2.5 million of previous funding from Atlas Venture and the Anthemis Group. Jos White, partner at Notion Capital, will join Sean Park from Anthemis and Fred Destin from Atlas, on The Currency Cloud’s Board.
The Currency Cloud, a B2B startup which provides a cloud-based currency conversion and international payments service, now aims to expand globally and build on its already strong demand. It’s very much leveraging the new wave of FinTech which has emerged amid banking scandals and exposés of the inefficiencies in the banking sector. This is Banking 2.0.
Jos White of Notion told us “A new model for finance is required. I’ve never seen so much frustration and pain and general confusion and desire for a better solution in this market.”
One of the big problems is that small firms pay a high price for cross border payments, and with about 20% of small firms now doing a great deal more global commerce, there is huge growth in the market.
Mike Laven, CEO of The Currency Cloud told us: “We sit on top of traditional liquidity providers and then send payments on proprietary banking networks. But those are expensive to access. So for an SME to interface with a major global payment network is virtually impossible. We build a platform to provide access and simplicity.”
One of their third party integrators is thus TransferWise, another London-based startup. They use Currency Cloud’s API platform and then market the service direct to consumers.
Notion’s previous investments in cloud-based services include Brightpearl, eSellerPro, NewVoiceMedia and Tradeshift. Jos White was co-founder of MessageLabs, one of the largest B2B successes to come out of Europe.