London-Based VertoFX Gains EMI License

The company saw significant demand for its services this year.

VertoFX, a foreign exchange (forex) trading and payments startup focused on the emerging markets, has gained an electronic money institution (EMI) license from the United Kingdom regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

According to the regulatory registry, VertoFX’s EMI license became effective from August 6th.

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This license will allow the forex startup to offer various financial services, but it cannot be termed as a full lender. The startup now has plans to further boost its growth by on-boarding UK or EEA businesses.

“Acquiring our e-money license is a key element of our vision to create a more inclusive financial ecosystem for global businesses,” VetoFX’s co-founder and CEO, Ola Oyetayo said in a statement. “VertoFX has invested the last three years in connecting hundreds of people and organizations to a global system that enables fast, safe, and reliable financial transactions.”

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The London-headquartered startup was founded in 2017 by Oyetayo and Anthony Oduwole, two ex-global bankers hailing from Nigeria. The startup became a part of Y Combinator’s 2019 winter cohort and grabbed headlines last year after raising $2.1 million in a seed round led by Accelerated Digital Ventures.

Unlike most of the market players, VertoFX is concentrating on the emerging markets and adding exotic currencies from Africa, Asia, and the MiddleEast. The startup also has an office in Lagos, Nigeria.

Though the company did not officially file any of its numbers yet, it recently revealed that its customer base jumped 270 percent year-on-year, mostly consisting of SMEs, and also benefited from the ongoing pandemic.

“The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital payments, prompted global business to re-assess their supply chains and the transaction cost of working with global partners as the need to reduce cost becomes paramount in the current economic climate,” Oyetayo added.

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