Google Ventures Backs UK’s FinTech Startup Currencycloud in $25M Funding Round

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Google Ventures Backs UK’s FinTech Startup Currencycloud in $25M Funding Round
GV, formerly Google Ventures, is the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet Inc. and provides seed, venture, and growth stage funding to technology companies. Photo: GV

GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, took part in a $25 million funding round together with Sapphire Ventures, Anthemis and other investors.

Google’s high-profile venture capital arm has invested in a London-based fintech startup called Currencycloud. The latest Series D funding round has brought the company’s total investment to $61 million.

GV led the fundraising round, which also attracted such investors as Notion Capital, Sapphire Ventures, Anthemis, and Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten. This is GV’s first investment in a European fintech startup.

“GV hadn’t done any other fintech investments in Europe. Google looks at us as a tool that other firms can use to globalise. The investment was all about being developer-led,” said Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven.

In 2015, the company raised $18 million in its Series C fundraising round, led by Sapphire Ventures, Rakuten, Anthemis, and other firms. According to Currencycloud, the money will be used to drive its global expansion. The startup, which has offices in London and the US, is planning to enter the Asian market and continue its growth in the US.

“We just opened up in the U.S. and that requires a lot more development,” Laven commented. “We are also seeing tremendous interest from Asia broadly.”

Launched in 2012, Currencycloud enables businesses to make cross border transactions by using its technology. The company is a direct competitor to traditional banks as it provides much easier and cheaper way to send money internationally.

“We have an API that we sell to other payment firms, banks and e-commerce companies, from shipping to electronics, wealth management and travel, allowing them to do international transfers and payments, with built-in compliance,” said Laven.

In December, Currencycloud generated over $1 million in profits. The company’s infrastructure has been used to process about $25 million in transfers to more than 200 countries. It serves over 200 customers, including Travelex, Standard Bank, Revolut, Klarna, and Azimo.

GV, which is mainly interested in the science and health sector, has been showing an increased interest in fintech startups. Since the company’s launch in 2009, it has invested around $500 million in high-growth tech companies around the world.

“Life science and health remain our most active areas of investment. They will continue to be a focus for us in 2016 and beyond,” GV’s founder Bill Maris said in a blog post in 2015.

According to the fund’s London-based partner Tom Hulme, a third of the company’s investments are in life sciences sector. He noted that GV will continue to invest in life sciences startups, although there is an obvious shift in the fund’s investment portfolio.

“A core area of investment for us is FinTech, reflected in deals like Stripe in November last year, and Align Commerce which was renamed Veem, announced this week,” he said.

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