It marks the first major institutional round for the company – prior to this it had several seed and angel investments raising nearly €4m.
The company is hoping to capitalise on the expanding new sector of peer-to-peer (P2P) currency transfer, as well as utilising this latest injection to build on CurrencyFair’s existing currency corridors, according to a statement.
CurrencyFair’s CEO Brett Meyers said: “Customers are beginning to realise the high fees charged by banks when sending money internationally. Theses customers, made up of an internationally mobile workforce, retirees and foreign property owners, are regularly sending £2,000 or more in the form of pay, pensions, mortgages and rents. For these people we are a great match.”
The unique selling point from his perspective, he added, is that CurrencyFair “is virtually unbeatable over £2,000, sometimes even beating the interbank rate, which banks, brokers and other transfer services can’t do.”
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The Dublin-based company currently employs around 50 people in Ireland, with a further eight in Australia. Meyers is planning to double the Australian office, and is also looking into a mobile app, along with further spend on advertising and marketing.
Transactions in Australian dollars have been a core part of the business and Meyers has previously said that while “European and UK banks charge three per cent, Australian banks are even worse at around 5.5 per cent”.
Meyers himself is an expat – an Australian who currently resides in Ireland. So far, the company has enabled expats and holiday makers to transfer €1.86m since it was founded in 2009, with estimated savings for its customers of over €100m compared to bank charges.
The online market place estimates that the market for P2P foreign exchange is growing at 500 per cent annually, and looks set to provide £250bn of currency transfers by 2017. Last year CurrencyFair became the first platform worldwide to break the $1bn barrier in money matching transfers.
CurrencyFair has accelerated month-on-month across its main currency corridors between the UK, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Rebecca Hunt, a member of the ventures team at Octopus pointed to the move away from traditional banks as customers look for more transparent and cheaper currency exchange charges.
“The fintech scene is incredibly exciting at the moment, and nowhere more so than in international transfers. It’s certainly a competitive market, but we are pleased to be backing CurrencyFair and look forward to working closely with them in this next step in the business’ growth.”
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