Ebury nabs £350M for foreign exchange and currency services for SMEs, Santander takes 50.1% stake

As the UK continues on its slow march to leave the European Union, a London-based startup that enables companies to work internationally has raised a huge round of funding from a strategic backer to expand its business.

Ebury and Santander said that the funding will be used to support Ebury’s growth, and specifically to scale its customer base in Latin America and Asia, while at the same time bolting on more modern services to Santander’s offerings as it seeks both to expand its revenues from existing customers and take on new ones.

Santander said that it has 4 million SME customers globally, and currently more than 200,000 of them do international business, while Ebury is already operating 19 countries and covers 140 currencies, with annual revenue growth of 40% in each of the last three years.

But putting to one side 4 million businesses, even providing services to 200,000 customers would be a big step up for Ebury: the company said that last year it processed £16.7 billion in payments for just 43,000 clients.

On a straight percentage it would work out to about £700 million, or $902 million, but it sounds like the deal includes both primary and secondary investment that could change the numbers: “£70 million will be new primary equity (approximately €80 million) to support Ebury’s plans to enter new markets in Latin America and Asia,” the companies note.

It made an early strategic investment in Sweden’s iZettle, a Square competitor, that brought the startup into Latin America, and specifically as a co-provider of services to Santander’s customers in the region.

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