Within the FX industry, one of the subsectors that is currently seeing disruption taking place is in the area of physical cash conversions. A growing list of companies have begun to market products that provide cheaper mechanisms for handling cross currency transactions and funding, while side stepping traditional banks. Earlier this month we wrote about PNC partnering with Fundtech which could effectively lead to declining cross currency wiring rates. Also, newly public money transfer firm Xoom continues trade well above its $16 IPO pricing.
In that domain, Kantox, a P2P cross currency solution for institutions has announced that they are launching spot transactions. Regulated by the FSA and HMRC, Kantox provides institutions the ability to transact corporate to corporate FX deals at mid-point pricing with fees between 0.09-0.29%. Until now, Kantox had provided users coverage for deliverable forward transactions as the firm focused on hedging user cases. In the launch, Kantox cited client demand for spot FX transfer solutions as the reason for the new offering. They also announced that the network currently has nearly 100 companies from around signed up.
Kantox launches spot transactions
As a result of client feedback, Kantox has now added spot transactions to its deliverable FX solution that was previously focused on hedging (deliverable forwards), and is now able to offer a full range of FX services to its corporate clients.
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Kantox was launched in late 2011 and has now 15 employees in its London and Barcelona offices. The client portfolio is now approaching 100 companies with revenues ranging from 1 million to 1 billion USD. Clients come from many different industries such as manufacturing, technology, tourism, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
In 2012, Kantox carried out what was probably the largest corporate-to-corporate FX deal ever (a FX deal done directly between 2 companies without an intermediary, which circumvents banks / brokers and is not managed by an investment bank as a currency SWAP would be): 1.600.000 USD. This transaction involved two leading companies from the tourism industry with revenues of 300 Million € and 1 Billion € respectively. But what is most interesting is not so much the amount but the fact that these companies are competitors. Both treasurers declared: “whereas our respective marketing and sales teams may be competing, our own jobs are focused on saving money and Kantox offered a great solution to achieve this”. In other words, companies feel more comfortable trading FX with competitors where they can save money, than with banks.
Kantox, which has been backed from the start by investors coming from banks like HSBC and BNP or consultancies like Deloitte, is preparing a large fundraising for mid 2013 in order to accelerate growth and start expansion to the US and Asia.
In Kantox, we truly believe that the financial industry needs a radical rethink and that innovative financial services offering fair prices and creating NO systemic risk are more important than ever. Based on these conclusions, we developed a low-fee, simple and transparent FX solution, available both for SMEs and large corporations.
Kantox is the alternative to traditional (deliverable) FX products and services offered by banks and brokers (spot, forwards, options, etc.). We’ve created a marketplace where companies can look for and find others companies – their counterparties – to exchange foreign currencies spot and forward without the intermediation of banks. Hence Kantox is able to offer a transparent and low-fees FX solution.