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Sending payments across borders remains a complex task for large companies. Moving money internationally involves juggling exchange rates, navigating banking networks, and understanding archaic rules.
While Transferwise has succeeded in helping consumers solve these problems, the Paris-based company iBanFirst it is attacking the problem of large corporations that need to make frequent transfers of much larger sums.
The company now plans to accelerate its growth by expanding its reach in Europe through a series of acquisitions designed to consolidate such services and help companies manage the cost and complexity of international transfers. Facilitating such money transfers is crucial as more commerce goes digital and businesses need greater speed and predictability to manage their finances.
“People increasingly trust that the Internet can make international payments, and they trust us to do so,” said iBanFirst CEO and Founder Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier.
To drive that strategy forward, iBanFirst today announced a wide-ranging financial partnership with Marlin Equity Partners valued at $ 243 million. The financing is a combination of investment, acquisitions by some previous investors and access to debt that will be used in part to acquire competitors in Europe.
Currently, large-scale international payments can be routed through multiple banks, making it difficult for businesses to predict exchange rates, fees, and timelines. IBan First augments this traditional system by creating greater visibility.
Customers can easily create accounts in 30 currencies in more than 150 countries that can then be used to speed up and simplify such transfers.
iBanFirst connects clients directly to forex trading desks for faster service. The company also offers a number of financial instruments that allow a wider variety of businesses to hedge against fluctuations in exchange rates. And its platform allows companies to track the timing of payments and understand potential fees in real time.
Currently, the company has operations in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. That includes a recently opened office in Munich and a new R&D center in Tunis in the second half of last year. The next step is an expansion into Central and Eastern Europe while also looking for opportunities to expand in the UK.
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