Saturday 20 July 2019

CurrencyFair secures new backers for €20m growth plan

CurrencyFair's Paul Byrne
CurrencyFair's Paul Byrne
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Currency transfer business CurrencyFair is plotting an assault on the Asian market after buying Hong Kong business Convoy Payments as part of a €20m investment plan.

The vast bulk of the plan is being bankrolled by four investors, three of which are new backers.

Hong Kong-listed Convoy Global, the previous owner of Convoy Payments, is coming on board as a backer, as are Harbert European Growth Capital and Seligman private equity select.

Previous backer Octopus Ventures is also contributing to the plan.

CEO Paul Byrne said the wide variety of currencies in use in Asia - in contrast to Europe where many countries use the euro - made the continent attractive.

"Secondly, you've got to look at the size of the market relative to Europe. China alone has a population four times the size of the EU," Mr Byrne added.

"Asia is where we think most growth will come from over time and we want to be part of that story."

The company aims to create 90 jobs over the next 18 months as part of the investment plan.

The business reached profitability for the first time earlier this year and will include some its own cash flow in the funds being used to drive the expansion. Convoy Payments, the business CurrencyFair is acquiring, has been up and running since 2016.

"It has a very strong payments corridor into China. It has customers in the US and in Canada so CurrencyFair will effectively have access to the US market in terms of payments and acquiring customers through partners rather than through our own licence," Mr Byrne said. The company's target market is SMEs and transfers in excess of €1,000, but the latter will be lower in Asian markets.

Michael Yap, head of venture capital at Convoy Global, said: "Convoy Global is pleased to have found a great partner in CurrencyFair to expand our payments offering. The partnership includes the merger of Convoy's existing payment business with CurrencyFair as well as a direct investment earmarked towards supporting the joint entity's Asian expansion."

Irish Independent

Also in Business