Azimo appoints new CEO as money transfer service reaches profitability

Azimo, the U.K.-headquartered money transfer service backed by Japan’s Rakuten Capital, amongst others, is seeing a change at the top: founder Michael Kent is stepping sideways to become “executive chairman,” while Azimo’s COO Richard Ambrose is being promoted to CEO.

However, perhaps more noteworthy — within the context of a plethora of loss-making fintechs — is that the personnel changes coincide with the company announcing that it reached profitability during Q2 this year.

Azimo has raised $50 million of investment to date. Along with Rakuten, investors include eVentures, Greycroft and Frog Capital.

“We’ve bucked the trend in fintech by focusing on profitability and long-term sustainability,” says Ambrose (pictured below), who, prior to joining Azimo two years ago, was an executive at PayPal. “The next big challenge is growing Azimo from a European to a global fintech business. We’re sanguine about this challenge because Europe — with its range of languages, currencies and payment habits — is a good place to cut your teeth before going global.”

170711 Headshot Richard Ambrose AzimoAnd cut its teeth, Azimo has. Founded in 2012, the money transfer service now has 1.1 million registered sending customers and 2.3 million receivers. The average sent per transfer is £250 and users on average send money 2.4 times per month. The company’s main “corridor” focus is Africa, SE Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. I’m told there are plans for further expansion into Asia later this year.

“I am proud of the growth and success of Azimo, and most of all of the team that made it happen: we’ve created a world-class service and payment platform, which is lowering costs for millions of people around the world,” says Kent in a statement. “Richard has played a big part in the company’s development since he joined Azimo two years ago. I will continue to work closely with him and the rest of the team to make sure that our success story continues.”

Specifically, in his role as executive chairman, the Azimo founder will focus on new and existing investors and partners. Kent is also a fairly prolific angel investor. Along with his business partner Ricky Knox (the founder of Tandem Bank), he has backed the likes of Curve, ComplyAdvantage, YoYo Wallet, Thriva and Tandem Bank, to name just a few.