Ebury, a fintech financier helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) trade internationally, has completed a successful US$83mn round of capital funding. This is one of the largest investment in fintech in Europe this year, reaffirming investors’ confidence in this sector’s potential for growth and investment return.
Vitruvian Partners, which has invested in several successful European start-ups, led the latest round, with existing investor 83North also contributing. This funding round brings the total invested in the company to date to over US$110mn.
Juan Lobato, Ebury’s co-founder and co-CEO, tells GTR that the reason for Ebury’s success is that it fills the funding gap left by the traditional banking system with solutions tailored to the clients’ needs. “While in some ways it’s true that we compete with banks, we don’t regard ourselves as a direct competitor. The benefit of dealing with us in addition or even instead of a bank is that we act as a gateway to a much broader offering.” According to him, there is room for co-operation. “We leverage our relationships with a range of the leading global banks or similar organisations to offer our clients access to all the banks’ specialist areas, be it emerging market currencies, long-dated forward contracts or lower deposit requirements, for example.”
Since its launch in London in 2009, Ebury has expanded to Madrid, Malaga, Amsterdam and Warsaw, from where it serves over 10,000 businesses, in over 180 countries, which can transact in over 140 currencies. The business, says Lobato, acquires over 400 new customers every month.
“We tend to retain our clients because we provide them with solutions typically not afforded to companies of their size, and we provide unmatched client services,” he explains.
The firm expects demand for SME funding for trade purposes to increase by 40% in 2016 compared to 2014 levels. The capital raised will fuel the company’s further expansion across Europe and into the US early next year. “With the infrastructure already in place, the US has presented itself as a key market and the next logical step. Mid-market companies form a large part of the US economy and they have complex requirements when it comes to trading internationally, so we can add real value to them. Expanding our cross-Atlantic network will benefit our clients both sides of the Pond as they’re increasingly looking to transact in each other’s markets,” says Lobato.