CurrencyFair extends to Asia and US with new acquisition


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and FXC Intelligence and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors.… Read more
  • Irish fintech peer-to-peer money exchange extends into two massive markets at once
  • Acquisition comes after earlier shareholder jitters
  • Will include business-to-business remittance services

Dublin-based fintech upstart CurrencyFair, a peer-to-peer money exchange offering exchange rate comparison and international money transfers, has unveiled a major step into the Asian market with the acquisition of Hong Kong’s Convoy Payments.

The move advances CurrencyFair’s €20m investment spree. With this acquisition, the online money transfer startup has opened the door to the burgeoning Chinese market. Since Convoy Payments’ business includes access to the US market, that treasure chest is also part of the bargain.

The next stage of the development will see CurrencyFair launching the Chinese renminbi (RMB) on its platform.

Earlier this year, the investment programme might have been thwarted. CurrencyFair had been through a pretty tumultuous time between October 2017 and April 2018, when smaller shareholders seemed poised to scupper a significant venture funding round.

Much of the €1.5m it wanted to raise was being supplied by two large investors, the UK-based Octopus Ventures and the Ireland-based Frontline Ventures. Smaller shareholders signalled their unease the instant they caught wind of it as it threatened to heavily dilute their stakes in the firm.

However, after a new proposal was put to the shareholders that included a higher valuation for CurrencyFair, it successfully completed a €1.5m fundraising round in April this year.

Aimed at company growth, the new investment drive will generate 90 new jobs over the coming 18 months. The Convoy Payments acquisition, the company said, will accelerate its advance into the lucrative Asian market while simultaneously opening up access to the thriving US online money transfer market.

The new jobs will be distributed globally and will focus primarily on customer service, product development, compliance and marketing, plus global partnership development.

Commenting, CurrencyFair’s CEO and President Paul Byrne said that the investment will allow the firm to proceed even further with its vision of building a fairer financial services system, in this instance taking it to Asia.

He said: “In addition to being able to provide more Asian currencies to our 100,000 plus customers, we are very excited about the opportunity to bring our products to the world's fastest growing region, which will account for approximately 33% of global money transfers by 2026.”

The company plans to open up cross border payments services for non-Chinese businesses who wish to pay their Chinese suppliers.

Expressing pleasure at the new partnership with CurrencyFair, Convoy Payment’s Head of Venture Capital, Michael Yap, described the Irish startup as a “great partner” which will help Convoy expand its payment offerings.

He added: “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.”

Yap concluded by declaring his firm’s excitement at becoming CurrencyFair’s strategic partner in improving their financial solutions to customers across the world.

Presently, CurrencyFair has operations in Australia and the UK, and can claim bragging rights over more than 100,000 customers across Australia and the EU.

The acquisition is quite a coup. Convoy Global Holdings is the biggest financial advisory firm in Hong Kong and has thousands of financial consultants throughout the Asia Pacific region. Convoy has three core businesses: FinTech, financial advisory and product manufacturing.

If you’d like to learn more about CurrencyFair, please enjoy reading our company review here.

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