Vitesse, the London-based fintech that offers real-time cross-border payments for businesses, has raised £6.6 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from existing backers, including Hoxton Ventures and various angel investors.
The company says the new investment will be used for growth, including building out its sales and marketing functions, and expanding Vitesse’s footprint in the U.S. market. It will also further invest in the “reach and speed” of its banking capabilities in order to meet customer demand as the fintech expands globally.
Founded in 2014 by Phillip McGriskin and Paul Townsend, who sold their previous fintech to Worldpay, Vitesse operates a global banking and payment network. This sees it able to provide customers with direct access to the domestic payment networks of more than 100 countries in over 60 currencies.
It currently targets businesses in the insurance, payroll and corporate payment space that want to simplify their liquidity management and easily make cross-border payments. Existing customers include Brit Insurance, DXC Technology and Gett. To date, Vitesse has processed more than £2.1 billion across almost 2.3 million transactions.
“Cross-border payments are still largely inefficient, especially for businesses,” explains McGriskin. “They can be slow and expensive, and tracking and reconciling them and keeping compliant in a constantly shifting regulatory environment can prove difficult.”
To remedy this, Vitesse’s banking network provides access to multiple domestic banking services so that businesses can make payments to other businesses and their customers in the “fastest, and most economical way.” In addition, they gain greater transparency through things like real-time reporting.
Over on Extra Crunch, early Vitesse backer Hoxton Ventures assess Europe’s early-stage landscape.
“We are essentially running a globally distributed, local banking network to make payments so our customers don’t have to do it themselves,” says McGriskin. “And then we supply a customer-specific view so they can manage their funds most effectively, giving appropriate views right across their business. It saves them a lot of time and money and operational expense.”
In the verticals it currently operates, the fintech typically competes with banks, which, conversely, it also partners with to gain access to those domestic payments networks and to tailor its services to customers.
Explains McGriskin: “The biggest difference between us and the banks is technology. We are able to use our technology to provide real-time services with very rich and flexible reporting for our customers. And we can be nimble. But we prefer to work with the banks to optimise services for our customers.”