Last year at GeeknRolla a little known startup appeared in the demo pit, but went on to win the admiration of judges in the startup competition. It's the only time The Currency Cloud has made a public appearance, but today the startup has a inked a $4 million Series-A funding, led by Atlas Venture with follow-on participation from Anthemis Group. Maybe you don't need to launch at SXSW to make noise? The company previously raised $2 million from Anthemis and others. The money will be used to ramp up product and commercial activity. Now, there's something typically London about this company, which suggests it probably couldn't have come from anywhere else. The Currency Cloud has developed a Foreign Exchange (FX) payments automation platform which supercharges the tired old world of cross-border business payments, aiming to reduce costs for business and make multi-currency payments more frictionless. Why is this interesting? Well, we're talking about a team from the City of London that built the UBS online FX platform bringing their skills and experience to the combined revolutionary powers of the Cloud and SaaS. Since FX is one of the last great ripoffs in finance, this might actually be a pretty big deal. Obviously Foreign Exchange is a big market to attack. According to the Bank for International Settlements, the average daily turnover in global foreign exchange markets is estimated at over $4 trillion. The startup now has over 100 corporate customers using the company's SaaS offering and 20+ platform partners using its API. Think Stripe (a developer-friendly way to accept payments) but geared toward Foreign Exchange and you are close to what The Currency Cloud is. Mike Laven, CEO and veteran of the West Coast tech scene, says "Businesses everywhere need to deal in multi-currencies in every working day. Yet the methods being used are antiquated and expensive to all but the largest corporates and the banks. Our re-design of the industry business model delivers price transparency, risk management and ease of use." Fred Destin, Partner, Atlas Ventures, says FX remains error-prone, low tech and expensive and think the startup can "take costs out and bring transparency and automation in." Sean Park, co-founder, Anthemis Group, added: “Selling one currency to buy another should not be that hard. Yet for the millions of companies and individuals doing so today is too often a painful and expensive experience." It looks like The Currency Cloud is on to something.
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