Google Ventures Are Back in the UK, and giving flagging Fintech a boost again.
GV came to the UK, and then went again, or to be precise, it launched a European arm, to which it gave a £100m capital commitment and appointed some notable UK based entrepreneurs – Tom Hulme, Avid Larizadeh Duggan, and Eze Vidra to administer it, before deciding, meh, let’s just go back to being Google Ventures, or GV for short.
So, that didn’t look great in terms of Google, or rather Alphabet, backing British startups, but now it is back with a vengeance.
Led by now General Partner Tom Hulme, GV has invested in fintech disruptor Currency Cloud’s Series D round.
It is Currency Cloud’s money transfer products, app s and API’s that power many of the UK’s most prominent money transfer firms, such as Azimo, Revolut, and Travelex, helping them “pipe” money across borders, much like Stripe for payments, says Lynsey Barber at City AM.
That brings Currency Cloud’s total fundraising to $59.42m – as well as GV, existing investors Anthemis, Sapphire Capital and Notion Capital, plus the Rakuten Fintech Fund, also invested.
Not bad for a five-year-old company.
Currency Cloud say they have more than 200 customers in 35 countries, making it possible for millions of end-users to use their partners’ services via their APIs, and that $25 billion has been sent through their infrastructure.
The firm says they plan to spend the new funding on fuelling growth and global expansion, and using its APIs to “remove the friction and costs of traditional cross-border payments.”
Tom Hulme commented on behalf of GV: “We believe in empowering developers by making it easier for them to add scalable services to their products, ideally with simple APIs. Currencycloud is the leader in providing cross-border payment services in this manner, a real need as companies globalize.”
Mike Laven, CEO of Currency Cloud, has described the rise of the business as part of the “building block economy”.
“Companies can combine services such as AWS, Google Maps, Stripe and Twilio to build innovative new businesses fast and without the overhead of expensive proprietary systems”, he says, which is very disruptive, modern and cool, we feel.
Not to be outdone, Jos White of Notion Capital said that Currency Cloud is “powering the global economy of the future”, and that Notion “are very happy to continue to back the company”, whilst Rakuten’s Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel explained that ““We see huge opportunity for Currencycloud which is reflected in our increased investment. 2016 saw Currencycloud sign several flagship deals, further validating the market opportunity and marking a huge momentum in 2017.”
If London’s Fintech scene needed a boost after seeing investment drop by one third last year, to under $1 billion, as well as being pushed into third spot in the global rankings by new number one China and second placed USA – it just got one.