London-based FinTech startup VertoFX raises $10M to build B2B cross-border payments for the emerging markets
The global B2B payment continues to grow at an exponential rate with no sign of slowing down. It is estimated that B2B payments volume totals approximately $120 trillion per year globally and roughly $25 trillion per year domestically. The growth is expected to rise as more and more businesses are moving online due to the covid induced pandemic.
The B2B payment space has also attracted the attention of FinTech startups. In recent years, we’ve seen rising in funding activities with the sector. About a year ago, SatoshiPay, a blockchain-based fintech startup raised €550,000 in funding to offer B2B cross-border money transfer solutions and connect the world through instant payments using blockchain.
SatoshiPay is not alone. There are now more than 85 startup companies reshaping the B2B payments tech landscape. But not all FinTech startups are the same, with some focusing on different areas like Cross-border payments and money transfer, Mobile payments & digital wallets, E-commerce & point of sale (POS), and B2B payments.
One of the leading startups in this space is VertoFX, a London-based FinTech startup that offers B2B cross-border payments infrastructure for the emerging markets. Verto’s global B2B payments platform provides a fast, simple, and reliable way for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make payments to their suppliers in over 200 countries across 39 currencies.
Today, Verto announced it has raised $10 million in a Series A round of funding led by leading fintech investor Quona Capital, alongside Treasury, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), TMT Investments, Unicorn Growth Capital, Zrosk Investment Management, and P1 Ventures. Previous investors include Y Combinator, Accelerated Digital Ventures, and Ace & Company.
Verto will use the investment to continue building its platform to enable businesses to move money across borders seamlessly and instantly, solving important pain points in the B2B global payments industry, which is expected to grow to nearly USD 200 trillion by 2028, over six times the size of the retail payments market. The company also plans to accelerate its geographical expansion into emerging markets such as Africa, a region where SMEs’ cross-border payment needs are currently significantly under-addressed.
Verto was launched in 2018 by Nigerian co-founders Ola Oyetayo and Anthony Oduwole. In their previous experience at top-tier UK banks, the two saw firsthand that while trade and supply chains are increasingly global, international payments remain a complicated and expensive proposition, especially in emerging markets where local currencies are less familiar and less liquid than those of more developed economies.
And while the proliferation of peer-to-peer and remittance companies has started to address this pain point for consumers in emerging markets, the B2B market—which serves the SME sector and accounts for nearly 30% of global imports and 45% of total employment in emerging markets—has remained largely untouched.
Verto’s fast and frictionless global payments platform uses its “marketplace” solution to match businesses efficiently, especially where one of the currency pairs is an illiquid currency.
“Using Verto’s three main products (Payments, Exchange & Multi-Currency account), business owners can now send cross-border B2B payments at FX rates up to 9 times cheaper than they could through traditional banks, and with Verto wallets businesses can hold money with us in 39 currencies and make instant cross-border payments to other companies on the Verto network in real-time,” said Ola Oyetayo, co-founder and CEO of Verto. “While traditional peer-to-peer payment platforms often have transaction limits, the Verto platform facilitates payment volumes that are appropriate for MSMEs.”
“We plan to expand our presence in emerging markets with this fund through a suite of top-class tech stacks,” said Anthony Oduwole, the company’s co-founder and CTO. “Geographically, this is an essential step towards our mission of ‘making international payments simple, fast and cheap’. Our purposefully built tech infrastructure and payment rails enable instant cross-border payments in a way that is really exciting for businesses.”
“Low visibility and traceability, slow speeds, and the high costs of cross-border payments all inhibit SME growth across global and emerging markets,” said Monica Brand Engel, co-founder and Managing Partner at Quona Capital. “Verto’s innovative platform addresses these pain points, removing friction to make international payments fast, simple, and reliable—a key component of SME growth. We are proud to support Verto in this important and impactful work.”
Today, Verto helps over 2,000 customers from startups to SMEs to large corporate companies facilitate billions of dollars in transactions on a yearly basis. Using the company’s liquidity and price discovery marketplace solution, new customers can convert between 39 currencies, open a bank account or create wallets in seconds, allowing them to make global payments through a single platform.