Rakuten and SAP Lead $18 Million Funding in Currency Cloud

With funding from strategic investors Rakuten and SAP, Currency Cloud announced that it has raised $18 million in a Series

Currency Cloud announced today that it has closed an $18 million series C funding round. The round is led by Rakuten through its Rakuten FinTech Fund and Sapphire Ventures, formerly SAP Ventures. In addition, all existing investors such as Anthemis, Notion Capital and Atlas also participated in the round. The new round brings total funds raised since 2012 to $36 million.

The funding occurs as Currency Cloud is gaining traction for its transaction API to power international currency exchanges and payments. According to the firm, they have experienced 100% year-over-year revenue growth over the past two years, with 125 platform customers reaching over 150,000 end-users. The growth has led Currency Cloud to be on track to process $10 billion in yearly transactions.

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For Currency Cloud, adding Rakuten and SAP’s venture arms adds strategic investors who are expected to assist in the firm’s global expansion plans. As a provider of financial services in Japan, Rakuten will be working with Currency Cloud on ways to integrate their payment API within their products. In regards to SAP, as a provider of services to businesses, the firm is expected to introduce Currency Cloud’s technology to their customers.

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Overall, the funding continues to relate the strong interest investors and venture firms have for the fintech payments space. Last week, Azimo, which focuses on the remittance market, announced that they had closed a $20 million funding round. In addition, earlier in the year Kantox and TransferWise also revealed new funding.

The interest in the sector occurs as startups have been able to grab market share away from banks by introducing international payments and currency exchanges with reduced fees. At the heart of many of the declines in fees is a new payment technology that is being used to reduce friction on money transfers and increase efficiency for participants.

Interestingly, both TransferWise and Azimo, which have attracted their share of investors and lofty valuations, both use API technology from Currency Cloud to power their payments platforms. Called Payment Engine, the API connects payment participants to increase the number of users competing to handle cross currency and international transfers. As a result, according to Currency Cloud, they believe that when compared to banks, their technology provides a much more open platform that decreases costs and transfer times for their users.

As part of their investment, Andreas Weiskam, Managing Director at Saphire Ventures, will join Currency Cloud’s board. In regards to the funding, Weiskam commented, “Sapphire Ventures is committed to backing high-growth companies with the potential to disrupt markets globally. By enabling transparent, efficient and secure transactions, Currency Cloud is revolutionizing how businesses can move money worldwide. We are excited to draw upon our enterprise DNA and international experience to help Currency Cloud scale and continue pushing the barriers to challenge how financial services are delivered.”

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