More fintech news coming out of London. Kantox, a peer-to-peer foreign currency exchange for businesses, has raised €6.5 million in a series A investment. The round was led by Partech Ventures and Idinvest Partners, with participation from existing investor Cabiedes & Partners. It previously raised a 1 million Euro seed investment in July 2012.
Founded in 2011 by former Deloitte employee Philippe Gelis, London and Spain-based Kantox enables SMEs and “mid-caps” to exchange currency for the purpose of money transfer. Its trading platform displays the mid-market rates and offers businesses the opportunity to match their transaction requirements with other companies through its P2P model.
So, for example, you’re a company located in Europe who needs to pay your Chinese supplier in U.S. Dollars. Using the Kantox marketplace, you locate another company based in Europe who is exporting goods to the U.S. and has U.S. Dollars to sell in exchange of your Euros. By going the P2P route, cutting out banks and brokers, Kantox is able to offer a better exchange rate.
It claims more than 500 corporate clients across Europe and says in the just under three years since launch it’s traded $300 million. It currently supports the exchange of over 25 currencies, and has grown its team to 45 employees.
Kantox says the new capital will be used to further develop its technology and “consolidate its presence across Europe’, as it continues to pitch its FX trading platform as a more cost-effective and transparent alternative to banks and brokers. If that sounds familiar, it’s because, along with those incumbents, the company competes with a host of other P2P currency exchanges in Europe.
Competitors include Dublin-based CurrencyFair, which recently raised a further $2.5 million led by Frontline Ventures, bring total funding to ~$4 million; TransferWise, backed by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, SV Angel, IA Ventures, Index, Seedcamp, and TAG; and Lithuanian-based TransferGo, which also operates a P2P model to undercut the banks, and recently raised a modest €200,000 in funding to launch in the UK.