While TravelersBox may sound like a fight club for paunchy, tired business executives who spend months on a plane per year, it’s actually a box that lets you turn your foreign currency – change mostly – into dollars and Euro and then sends the value right to your Paypal, Skype, or Starbucks account.
Founded by Tomer Zussman, Idan Deshe, and Dror Blumenthal, the company has raised $4.5 million from Global Blue, Yuval Tal, Zohar Gilon, Hagai Tal, and Ehud Levy, alongside Pitango Venture Capital and iAngels in order to expand into more airports where more TravelersBoxes will wait to munch your money.
The service takes in change and transfers it to PayPal accounts, Skype accounts, and Starbucks cards. Some of it can be sent to charity as well. There is no fee for the transfer.
“TravelersBox are aiming to provide a fee free service, which will be possible by increasing the affiliation from TravelersBox partners,” said company representative Vicky Petel.
The genesis of the box is pretty obvious: it sucks to have a lot of foreign change.
“Every time I got back from a trip I found my pockets full of quarters that I always forgot to take back with me from my next trip, I started to count the coins every trip and found out that it is around $10 – $15 USD,” said Zussman. “I knew that there are 3 billion travelers a year and I realized that this is a 40-50 billion dollar market no one touched.”
Because credit card fees were ridiculous, the team decided to focus on companies that could take the change and turn it into internal value. Putting a few dollars on a Starbucks card makes perfect sense for everyone while losing most of that in bank transfer fees makes a lot less.
“A few useless coins and bills that would otherwise be kept in a jar, are now valuable again thanks to this magic box,” said Blumenthal. It’s a fascinating world in which we live: now we can turn weird coins into lattes like alchemists of old.