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Sending payments across borders remains a complex task for large enterprises. Moving money internationally involves juggling exchange rates, navigating banking networks, and understanding archaic rules.
While Transferwise has been successful at helping consumers solve these issues, Paris-based iBanFirst is attacking the problem for corporations that need to make frequent transfers of much larger sums.
Now iBanFirst is planning to accelerate that growth by expanding its reach across Europe through a series of acquisitions designed to consolidate these services and help enterprises manage the cost and complexity of international transfers. Facilitating such money transfers is crucial as more commerce goes digital and companies need greater speed and predictability to manage their finances.
“People trust more and more that the internet is able to do international payments, and they trust us to do it,” iBanFirst CEO and founder Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier told VentureBeat.
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To fuel that strategy, iBanFirst today announced a wide-ranging financial partnership with Marlin Equity Partners valued at $243 million. The financing is a mix of investment, buyouts of some previous investors, and access to debt that will be used in part to acquire competitors across Europe.
Visibility across borders
Currently, international payments on a large scale might be routed through several banks, making it difficult for companies to predict exchange rates, fees, and timing. iBanFirst augments this traditional system by creating greater visibility.
Customers can easily create accounts — across 30 currencies and more than 150 countries — that can be used to speed up and simplify such transfers.
iBanFirst connects customers directly to currency trading desks to get faster service. The company also provides a series of financial instruments that allow a greater range of businesses to hedge against currency rate fluctuations. And its platform allows companies to track the timing of payments and understand potential fees in real time.
The company currently has operations in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. These include a recently opened office in Munich and a new R&D center that opened in Tunis last year. The company is now looking to expand into Central and Eastern Europe while identifying opportunities to grow in the U.K.
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